Gov. Hochul signs LLC Transparency Act


The LLC Transparency Act was signed into law Dec. 23 by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The legislation sponsored by state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher will create a database of the beneficial owners of limited liability corporations that can be accessed by government agencies as well as law enforcement.

“For far too long, bad actors have been protected by the loose disclosure requirements of LLC ownership,” Hochul said in a press release. “Wage theft, money laundering, tenant mistreatment and other unlawful activity has been masked by the opaque ownership structure of an LLC. The new LLC Transparency Act will give law enforcement and state regulators the tools they need to hold bad actors accountable.”

According to Hochul’s press release she secured a compromise agreement with the Legislature that will allow members of law enforcement and regulatory authorities to uncover misconduct, while also addressing legitimate privacy concerns.

“I’m glad that Governor Hochul is signing our LLC Transparency Act to provide law enforcement and government agencies with the beneficial ownership information for limited liability corporations, which up to now had been virtually unattainable,” Hoylman-Sigal said in the release. “In order to crack down on tax cheats, bad landlords, and employers engaged in wage theft in New York, this information is crucial for regulators and prosecutors.”

The database can be accessed by federal, state and local government law enforcement across the state, giving them the tools to tackle criminal activity. People who set up or already own LLCs and meet requirements for disclosure will be required to identify the names of beneficial owners in the filing.

“With today’s signing, New York now leads the nation in tackling the rise of secret shell companies that abuse tenants and workers and defraud businesses and the government,” Gallagher said. “I have seen up close the frustration and harm wrought by anonymous LLCs in my district. Today marks the first step to ending that impunity. I thank Governor Hochul, Sen. Hoylman-Sigal and my Assembly colleagues for getting us over the finish line and vow to continue the fight for transparency.”

Council passes
Dinowitz’s vet bill

The City Council passed a bill Dec. 20 that addresses the mental health needs of New York City veterans. The bill, sponsored by Councilmembers Eric Dinowitz, Linda Lee, and Mercedes Narcisse, mandates that any city agency providing social services must include demographic questions related to veteran status on their forms. This is in an effort to ensure that veterans receive targeted support.

“The men and women who have dedicated their lives to our country deserve our deepest gratitude, and that appreciation must extend beyond words” said Dinowitz in a press release. “My bill marks a significant leap forward, rectifying historical failures in addressing the mental health needs of our veterans. By knowing who and where our veterans are, we can more effectively provide them the support they have more than earned.”

Beginning in January, Dinowitz will initiate monthly office hours in collaboration with Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner James Hendon to provide veterans with personalized assistance from DVS representatives regarding their needs and benefits.

“We applaud the passage of this crucial bill, understanding the profound impact it will have on our ability to reach and support the NYC veteran community,” said Hendon in a press release. “The integration of such a survey will help ensure that no veteran is overlooked, allowing us to deliver tailored assistance to those veterans in need. We look forward to leveraging this data to enhance our outreach efforts and services as we continue to foster a community where every veteran feels supported.”

Dinowitz’s bill is “Stop 2” of the council’s Mental Health Road Map, a series of bills introduced in April to bring awareness to the needs of veterans and provide resources such as providing emotional support dogs to those eligible.

“Opening doors to services for veterans is a moral imperative,” said Sergio Villaverde, Community Board 8 vice chair, chair of the board’s Special Committee on Veterans Services and a veteran himself. “I am immensely proud to have this legislation sponsored by my local Council Member, Eric Dinowitz. This is a decisive step toward closing the gaps through which our veterans too often fall.”

Signature Bank
loan auction for $33B

Signature Bank has found a buyer for the last of its commercial real estate loan portfolio, concluding its auction for $33 billion in loans.

Following the bank’s closure in March, which was partially blamed on cryptocurrency oversight, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. began marketing for the selling of the bank’s assets, saying then they were obligated to preserve the availability and affordability of real estate property for low- and moderate-income individuals.

One of those who was at the forefront of the sale was U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, who told The Riverdale Press in September that the FDIC had a statutory obligation to ensure the loans went to those committed to preserving affordable housing, rather than rent-seekers who were intent on making a quick profit from the bank’s up to 80,000 units of affordable housing.

The latest news of the auction’s conclusion was seen as “a crisis averted” and a win in preserving housing affordability Torres told The Press in a statement.

“A few months ago, I persuaded the FDIC to partner with state and local stakeholders to create and implement a strategy for preserving the affordability of 80,000 units of affordable housing,” he stated. “Our commitment to preserving affordability has kept these units from falling into predatory hands that could have led to mass displacement.”

The latest buyer, Santander Bank, bought their stake for $1.1 billion. They were awarded a 20 percent equity interest in a joint venture holding $9 billion in loans backed by rent-stabilized and rent-controlled properties according to The Real Deal. The FDIC maintained an 80 percent stake in that venture.

Espaillat, FDNY
donate fire trucks

As the Dominican Republic recovers from a tropical storm last August and recent torrential rains that reportedly killed 21, local electeds and city agencies announced the donation of two fire trucks and two sanitation trucks to help the Caribbean country in their relief. One of those coordinating the effort is U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who himself is Dominican.

“I am honored to help usher in the collaboration between the DSNY, FDNY, International Affairs, and the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic to bring the delivery of these emergency fire and garbage service trucks to fruition,” said Espaillat in a press release. “Climate change affects each of us, and Tropical Storm Franklin and its impact reminds us of the magnitude of what is at stake when these natural disasters occur.”

Tropical Storm Franklin forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 people and devastated several municipalities across the country, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services said in a press release. Recent torrential rains in November have only caused more damage as at least 21 have died and thousands more displaced.

“Our hearts are with the people of the Dominican Republic as they continue to recover from the impacts of Tropical Storm Franklin and the torrential rains that followed,” said DCAS Commissioner Dawn Pinnock. “DCAS is proud to coordinate this donation with FDNY and DSNY. Time and again, this administration has shown that the City of New York’s compassion transcends borders, and that we will always look to support our neighbors during times of crisis.”

The two firetrucks and two standard-size Department of Sanitation trucks are expected to arrive by January 2024. There are about 702,000 Dominicans living in NYC.

— Eric Harvey


politics, Gov. Kathy Hochul, Eric Dinowitz, Signature Bank, Adriano Espaillat, veterans, fire trucks, LLC