January 23rd - January 29th, 2004
LMDC Grant Forger Sentenced to Prison
Thursday, Jan. 22: U.S. District Judge Richard Conway Casey sentenced Allen Klein to serve six months in prison for defrauding the LMDC's Residential Grant Program. Klein, a 30-year-old British citizen, pled guilty to providing false information on his application for a two-year, commitment-based federal grant that suggested he was eligible to receive $12,000.
According to the LMDC, Klein relocated to Florida after submitting a grant application in which he declared that he lived and intended to remain at Lower Manhattan's 71 Broadway. The LMDC noticed that Klein's grant checks were being retuned because his mail was being forwarded to Florida, prompting an investigation.
The Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also begin deportation proceedings against Klein, according to a release issued by the LMDC.
Wils Appointed to Lead Tribeca Film Institute
Tuesday, Jan. 27: LMDC board member and Community Board 1 chair Madelyn Wils will assume the positions of president and chief executive of the Tribeca Film Institute, according to the Associated Press (AP).
"Madelyn Wils has shown a deep dedication to the community of Lower Manhattan and she is the perfect person to lead the Tribeca Film Institute as it continues it mission to rejuvenate downtown," said Robert De Niro, founder of the Tribeca Film Institute, when he announced the appointment on Tuesday.
The institute, with the appointment of Wils, plans to expand its programs to include performing arts and lectures in addition to film, the AP reported. The nonprofit organization hosts special events and programs throughout the year and works with the Tribeca Film Festival to promote the neighborhood and downtown.
State Approves First Girls-Only Charter School
Tuesday, Jan. 27: New York State officials approved legislation to open the Girls Preparatory Charter School, New York City's first girls-only charter school, on the Lower East Side, reported The New York Post.
Beginning next fall, the school will serve 80 students in grades kindergarten and first grade and hopes to expand to 329 students in kindergarten through fifth grade in coming years, according to the Post. The school's opening will coincide with that of the city's first all-boys charter school, the Bedford-Stuyvesant Charter School for Excellence, also scheduled for next fall.
Insurers Agree to Settle Claim on Deutsche Bank Building
Wednesday, Jan 28: French insurance company AXA SA (AXA), along with German insurance company Allianz AG, reached an agreement to settle a claim for damages to the Deutsche Bank Building resulting from the collapse of the nearby World Trade Center in 2001, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Deutsche Bank filed a lawsuit against AXA and Allianz AG last year, claiming that the building was damaged beyond repair and demanding that the insurers be held responsible for several costs associated with its demolishment and reconstruction.
AXA and Alliance are waiting for approval from the LMDC before a final settlement can be reached, Dow Jones reported.