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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the New York Police Department, the Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society, and Grand Street Settlement hosted Manhattan’s second “Clean Slate” event this weekend. Approximately 460 New Yorkers from neighborhoods across the City came to Grand Street Settlement on the Lower East Side to resolve outstanding summons warrants for low-level offenses, without fear of arrest. Legal Aid attorneys screened and gave free legal advice to individuals whose summonses were ineligible for warrant forgiveness under Clean Slate. 

DA Vance announced the indictment of Eli Luski, as well as brothers Jay Katz and David Katz, a former attorney, for conspiring to steal and launder approximately $5 million from the escrow accounts of Manhattan-based attorneys over the course of six years. Luski, Jay Katz, and David Katz are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with several counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. Luski and Jay Katz are additionally charged with Money Laundering in the First and Second Degrees, and Residential Mortgage Fraud in the Second Degree.

Scores of New Yorkers breathed sighs of relief Saturday after wiping their legal slates clean in a warrant-forgiveness event. “Thank you, your honor,” most uttered as they strutted out of the mobile courtroom at the Grand Street Settlement with a smile on their face and a pep to their step. Those with summonses for non-violent offenses consulted with Legal Aid Society lawyers and either had their cases dismissed on the spot or were issued adjournments in contemplation of dismissal, whereby their cases will be tossed if they stay out of trouble for six months. For the non-English speakers, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Wolof (spoken in Gambia and Senegal) interpreters were on hand for the event, an initiative by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. 

A former New York City corrections officer who was convicted of smuggling cell phones, drugs and other items into a Manhattan jail was sentenced on Thursday to six years in prison. Former Department of Correction officer Patricia Howard, 44 years old, pleaded guilty to promoting prison contraband, attempted sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy, city officials said.

An ancient stone sculpture of Buddha's footprints that was smuggled into the United States and had been expected to sell for more than $1 million was returned to the government of Pakistan on Wednesday. The piece, called a Buddhapada, was taken from a Pakistani region rich in Buddhist history decades ago. It was returned by New York prosecutors to Pakistani Deputy Chief of Mission Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, who said it will remain in the city for the time being and may be exhibited at a museum.