A.G. Schneiderman Announces New Chiefs Of Charities Bureau And Newly Formed Financial Crimes Bureau

Lawyer With 30 Years’ High-Level Government Experience, James Sheehan, To Head Charities Bureau; Veteran Prosecutor Gary Fishman To Head Criminal Enforcement And Financial Crimes Bureau

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the appointments of James G. Sheehan as the new Chief of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau and Gary Fishman, a veteran financial crimes prosecutor, to serve as Chief of the newly formed Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, which will focus on prosecuting complex and large-scale financial crimes. 

Mr. Sheehan, who has more than 30 years of high-level experience working as an attorney for the city, state and federal governments, will be tasked with oversight of not-for-profit corporations and charitable trusts under several New York State laws. He will direct the bureau’s affirmative investigations and litigation, its review of sales, mergers and dissolutions of not-for-profits, and its representation of the interests of charitable beneficiaries in trusts and estates matters. 

The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, headed by Mr. Fishman, expands the Attorney General’s former Criminal Prosecutions Bureau. The reorganization will focus on criminal enforcement, including combating complex financial crimes in bank and financial institution fraud; securities and investment fraud; money laundering; tax crimes; mortgage fraud; investment schemes, and insurance fraud. The newly established bureau will also be forming a Financial Intelligence Section to initiate investigations into illicit financial activities and track the flow of suspicious funds by reviewing banking, regulatory, law enforcement, and open-source data to identify trends that will enhance the investigation and prosecution of financial crime schemes. 

“I am delighted to welcome Jim and Gary, both dedicated public servants and top-notch lawyers, to my senior leadership team,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Under Jim’s stewardship, the Charities Bureau will continue to be a national leader in the regulation and oversight of our important nonprofit sector and to serve as a model for enforcement and transparency efforts for nonprofits across the country. My office is committed to supporting this vital area of our state’s economy. Under Gary’s leadership, our newly created Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau will ferret out the bad actors in our critically important financial sector in order to protect our economy and investors. Financial industry leaders who play by the rules deserve a level playing field, and those bad actors who seek to take advantage of their competitors and their neighbors must be stopped and punished.”

Jim Sheehan said, “I am honored to join Attorney General Schneiderman’s impressive team of talented lawyers and regulators. I look forward to building on the already impressive achievements of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau and in pushing for innovative ways to further strengthen New York’s not-for-profit industry.” 

Gary Fishman said, “Attorney General Schneiderman has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring that everyone, no matter how wealthy or powerful, plays by the same rules. I am grateful for the opportunity to join this effort, and I will continue to prosecute those who threaten the lives and livelihoods of everyday New Yorkers.” 
Mr. Sheehan is currently the Chief Integrity Officer of the New York City Human Resources Administration, the nation’s largest social services and health care benefits agency. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Sheehan served as the Medicaid Inspector General for the State of New York, where he oversaw investigations of fraud and waste within the New York State Medicaid program. Previously, for more than 25 years, Mr. Sheehan was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As Chief of the Civil Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Sheehan supervised significant national cases, including a number of health care matters.

Mr. Fishman has nearly 20 years of prosecutorial experience, including conducting large-scale, white-collar investigations and prosecutions. Mr. Fishman joined the Office of the Attorney General in 2012, serving as Senior Investigative Counsel to the Division of Criminal Justice. During his tenure, Mr. Fishman has led a number of prominent matters on behalf of the Attorney General, including the current investigation into the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Before joining the Office of the Attorney General, Mr. Fishman was the Managing Director of Investigative Group International, where, among other responsibilities, he conducted and supervised complex and highly sensitive worldwide investigations on behalf of institutional clients, including law firms, corporations, investment banks, hedge funds, and public agencies.

Prior to that, Mr. Fishman was a prosecutor with the New York County District Attorney’s Office for more than 15 years, most recently as the Principal Deputy Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau in the Investigation Division. 

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