Tag Archives: New York Attorney General

NY AG Schneiderman Resigns After Accusations of Violence Against Women

New York, NY – Following a New Yorker report on Monday that four women had accused New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of sexual degradation and physical violence, and subsequent calls by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to resign, Schneiderman announced his resignation.

Schneiderman told the New Yorker in a statement: “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”

But his accusers, two of whom went public, allege that Schneiderman engaged physical violence and abuse that went beyond “role-playing.”

Tanya Selvaratnam, a woman romantically involved with Schneiderman between the summer of 2016 and fall of 2017, told The New Yorker that Schneiderman called her his “brown slave” and would slap her until she referred to him as “Master.” Selvaratnam said that that over the course of their yearlong affair, Schneiderman “was a fairytale that became a nightmare.”

Selvaratnam said that Schneiderman, who was a strong public advocate for the #MeToo movement against sexual violence and harassment, got progressively more violent.

“The slaps started after we’d gotten to know each other. It was at first as if he were testing me. Then it got stronger and harder. It wasn’t consensual. This wasn’t sexual playacting. This was abusive, demeaning, threatening behavior.”

She said that as the violence grew, so did his sexual demands. “He was obsessed with having a threesome and said it was my job to find a woman,” Selvaratnam said. “He said he’d have nothing to look forward to if I didn’t and would hit me until I agreed.”

Schneiderman has been a high-profile advocate for women’s issues over the years as well as a well-known adversary of President Trump.

As noted by The New Yorker:

As New York State’s highest-ranking law-enforcement officer, Schneiderman, who is sixty-three, has used his authority to take legal action against the disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, and to demand greater compensation for the victims of Weinstein’s alleged sexual crimes. Last month, when the Times and this magazine were awarded a joint Pulitzer Prize for coverage of sexual harassment, Schneiderman issued a congratulatory tweet, praising “the brave women and men who spoke up about the sexual harassment they had endured at the hands of powerful men.” Without these women, he noted, “there would not be the critical national reckoning under way.”

“This is a man who has staked his entire career, his personal narrative, on being a champion for women publicly,” Selvaratnam said. “But he abuses them privately. He needs to be called out.”

Only hours after the allegations surfaced, Schneiderman announced his resignation:

“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as attorney general for the people of the State of New York,” Schneiderman said in his resignation statement. “In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me.”

“While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”

Fox News reported that late Monday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said it was opening a probe into former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“After I found out that other women had been abused by Attorney General Schneiderman in a similar manner many years before me, I wondered, who’s next, and knew something needed to be done,” Selvaratnam said in a statement to the AP. “So I chose to come forward both to protect women who might enter into a relationship with him in the future but also to raise awareness around the issue of intimate partner violence.”

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Resists New York AG Inquiry

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken will reportedly not comply with the New York attorney general’s recent inquiry searching for “key information” from over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges.

The press release from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office stated:

As part of a broader effort to protect cryptocurrency investors and consumers, the Attorney General’s office sent letters to thirteen major virtual currency trading platforms requesting key information on their operations, internal controls, and safeguards to protect customer assets. As the letters explain, the Initiative seeks to increase transparency and accountability as it relates to the platforms retail investors rely on to trade virtual currency, and better inform enforcement agencies, investors, and consumers.

Attached to these inquiries was a questionnaire to provide information on six topics including “(1)Ownership and control, (2) Basic operation and fees, (3) Trading policies and procedures, (4) Outages and other suspensions of trading, (5) Internal controls, and (6) Privacy money and laundering.”

The statement required that the information requested to be completed and shared by May 1st. According to CNBC, Coinbase, the Gemini Trust, bitFlyer USA and other cryptocurrency exchanges indicated support for the inquiry.

However, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell shared a strongly worded response rebuking the inquiry. Powell took to Twitter to express his opposition to the AG inquiry, which he described as “insulting.”

[Related: Binance Announces Plans to Open Exchange In Malta]

Powell noted that Kraken is ordinarily open to helping and communicating with regulators. He criticized the New York AG’s office for being “tone-deaf” and called the state a “hostile” location for businesses including cryptocurrency-focused companies.

Powell highlighted a different option for New York to fulfill its need for information, adding, “If you want to talk to us, ask us for a phone call, fly yourself out to San Francisco, invite us for lunch at your office….But when is it going to be enough for New York? We did all this once already, and then you gave us the BitLicense.”

As Powell alluded to in his comments, Kraken halted operations in New York in 2015 after the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) introduced the controversial BitLicense. The New York ruling on the BitLicense has been referred to as a “Bitcoin Exodus.”

In a more extensive post published April 22, Powell explained Kraken’s viewpoints about regulation in detail. “Kraken’s recent response to the NYAG’s questionnaire should not be taken as an indication that Kraken is opposed to working with government,” Powell wrote. He went on to list ten specific issues he found with the agency’s request, including the deadline, the quality of the preparation of the inquiry, the confidentiality issues related to some requested information, and the “motives” of the NYAG. Powell’s post can be read in full here.

According to a report from MarketWatch, the AG’s office sent an email to MarketWatch claiming that “they have ‘enforcement jurisdiction over foreign businesses [meaning those based outside of New York] operating in New York.'”