Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced today the creation of a Consumer Protection Team in the Office’s Civil Division. The Consumer Protection Team, comprised of six Civil Division Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including the Civil Division’s Chief of Affirmative Civil Enforcement, enhances the Office’s focus on protecting the health, safety, economic security, and dignity of individuals in the Eastern District of New York and nationwide, including our most vulnerable residents – older adults and children. The Office has responsibility for the enforcement of our nation’s laws in the Eastern District of New York, which encompasses three of the five boroughs of New York City – Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island – and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. The Eastern District of New York encompasses over eight million people.
This Office has long been committed to bringing high-impact consumer protection cases. Together with its law enforcement partners, the Office has enjoined robocall scams, interdicted mass mailing fraud schemes, stopped the distribution of adulterated and misbranded dietary supplements, and brought other first-of-a-kind cases in this area. The Consumer Protection Team will strengthen the Office’s capacity to investigate and enforce laws that protect potentially vulnerable individuals from current and emerging consumer threats. The Consumer Protection Team will pursue all appropriate measures to stop culpable entities and individuals that engage in conduct threatening the health, safety, economic security, or dignity of those individuals, including affirmative civil enforcement cases seeking injunctive relief, civil penalties, equitable monetary relief, and corrective action. Among the areas that the Consumer Protection Team will focus on are financial frauds and scams; fraudulent and deceptive marketing practices; consumer product safety; food, drug, and dietary supplement safety; and other conduct that may cause or threaten to cause serious harm to the people in this district and throughout the country.
In announcing the formation of the Consumer Protection Team, United States Attorney Peace stated: “I am proud to announce the formation of our Consumer Protection Team which will enhance our Office’s ability to protect older adults, children, and other potentially vulnerable victims from insidious fraud schemes and other illegal conduct committed by those who disregard the health, safety, and economic security of our residents for their own gain. Our goal is to use all available means to protect the residents of the Eastern District and improve their lives. The Consumer Protection Team is a critical part of the Office’s longstanding commitment to vigorously pursue those who prey on the public through increasingly sophisticated schemes.”
“The Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch is pleased to strengthen its longstanding partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York,” stated Deputy Assistant Attorney General Arun G. Rao for the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch. “We look forward to working with the office’s newly-formed Consumer Protection Team to advance significant consumer protection investigations and litigation. Our combined efforts will help safeguard the health, safety, economic security, and identity integrity of older adults, children, and other potentially vulnerable individuals both in the Eastern District of New York and throughout the United States.”
The Consumer Protection Team is led by the Civil Division’s Chief of Affirmative Civil Enforcement, Bonni J. Perlin; the Consumer Protection Team is made up of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Blume, Michael Castiglione, David Cooper, Melanie Speight, and Kevin Yim. The Consumer Protection Team is overseen by Civil Division Chief Joseph A. Marutollo and Civil Division Deputy Chief Richard K. Hayes. The Team will continue to partner and coordinate with the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch and federal agencies.