U.S. Seizes Share of Ransom From Hackers in Colonial Pipeline Attack

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/07/us/politics/pipeline-attack.html

Excerpt:

The Justice Department said on Monday that it had seized much of the ransom that a major U.S. pipeline operator had paid last month to a Russian hacking collective, turning the tables on the hackers by reaching into a digital wallet to snatch back millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.

Investigators in recent weeks traced 75 Bitcoins worth more than $4 million that Colonial Pipeline had paid to the hackers as the attack shut down its computer systems, prompting fuel shortages, a spike in gasoline prices and chaos at airlines.

Federal investigators tracked the ransom as it moved through a maze of at least 23 different electronic accounts belonging to DarkSide, the hacking group, before landing in one that a federal judge allowed them to break into, according to law enforcement officials and court documents.

The Justice Department said it seized 63.7 Bitcoins, valued at about $2.3 million. (The value of a Bitcoin has dropped over the past month.)

Author(s): Katie Benner, Nicole Perlroth

Publication Date: 7 June 2021

Publication Site: New York Times

Federal probe into nursing home COVID-19 death coverup circles closer to Cuomo

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/03/19/federal-probe-into-nursing-home-covid-death-coverup-gets-closer-to-cuomo/

Excerpt:

Investigators have contacted lawyers for Cuomo’s aides, interviewed senior state Health Department officials and subpoenaed the governor’s office for documents relating to the alleged data coverup, the sources said.

The New York Times first reported the probe earlier Friday, citing four unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Health officials are being grilled about nursing home-related COVID-19 case and death data the state submitted last year to the Justice Department, sources told The Post.

Author(s): Larry Celona

Publication Date: 19 March 2021

Publication Site: NY Post

Why Cuomo Should Be Worried About a Federal Probe

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-cuomo-should-be-worried-about-a-federal-probe-11613945987

Excerpt:

What caught the Justice Department’s eye was Gov. Cuomo’s claim that New York’s nursing-home deaths were lower than many other states’ and that his March 25 order didn’t contribute to the extremely high number of New Yorkers who died from Covid. Given the virus’s disproportionate effect on the elderly, sick and frail, this seemed unlikely. On Aug. 26, Justice’s Civil Rights Division, relying on its jurisdiction to investigate government-run facilities under the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, asked the Cuomo administration for data on New York’s publicly run nursing homes, which account for less than 5% of nursing homes in the state.

In September, New York produced data showing it had underreported Covid deaths in government-run nursing homes by a third. The undercounting appeared to be due to several factors. First, when a nursing-home resident who contracted Covid died after being transported to a hospital for treatment, New York didn’t count it as a “nursing-home death.” Second, New York didn’t include deaths occurring before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began requiring Covid reporting from nursing homes in mid-May. CMS made reporting prior Covid deaths optional, and New York apparently elected to keep the information to itself.

Author(s): John B. Daukas

Publication Date: 21 February 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Cuomo aide admits they hid nursing home data so feds wouldn’t find out

Link: https://nypost.com/2021/02/11/cuomo-aide-admits-they-hid-nursing-home-data-from-feds/

Excerpt:

Governor Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing-home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned.

The stunning admission of a cover-up was made by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

Author(s): Bernadette Hogan, Carl Campanile and Bruce Golding

Publication Date: 11 February 2021

Publication Site: NY Post