Uniondale, New York, May 5, 2015 – On April 20, 2015, John J. Cooney, Esq., Of Counsel at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and Commander of the Northport American Legion, and more than 60 local veterans gathered with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Legislators William R. Spencer and Steve Stern at the Northport American Legion Hall to participate in the signing of two significant bills to ensure dollars meant to support veterans will not be diverted by unscrupulous individuals or organizations.
The bills were signed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, and were sponsored by Legislators Spencer and Stern. The first law, IR 1853, also known as the Sunlight Law, will require nonprofit veterans’ organizations to disseminate pertinent financial information to the general public about how their dollars are being spent. The information will guide the decision making process when choosing how to donate their charitable dollars. Working as a stand-alone law as well as in tandem with the Sunlight Law, IR 1041, also known as the local Stolen Valor Act, makes it a crime for any person to fraudulently market himself or herself as a decorated veteran while soliciting funds, and ensures that any organization in violation of this act will be out of business.
Cooney worked with legislators Spencer and Stern for over a year to craft the legislation. “This is a very important piece of legislation to our veterans. Sadly, we have a growing problem in Suffolk County and throughout this great Nation with individuals misrepresenting their service. It is important that we protect the valor and integrity of those that served and that veterans and their loved ones directly benefit from charitable donations made in their name. We are grateful for the time and commitment by legislators Spencer and Stern, especially given that many local officials refused to do anything about these issues,” stated Cooney.
John J. Cooney serves Of Counsel to Ruskin Moscou Faltischek where he is chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice group. He is also a member of the firm’s Health Law Department and the White Collar Crime and Investigations practice group. Mr. Cooney is a former United States Marine Corps officer and combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War. After serving his country, Mr. Cooney was trained as a software engineer at Columbia University, and his technical background proves particularly useful in the cybersecurity and data privacy arena, as well as in complex fraud investigations and litigation.
For more than 46 years, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., headquartered in Uniondale, has built a reputation as one of the region’s leading providers of innovative legal services. Its attorneys are practical, experienced advocates who measure their success by their clients’ success. Cornerstone groups in all major practice areas of the law are represented at the firm, including corporate & securities, financial services, commercial litigation, intellectual property, health care, real estate, employment, cybersecurity and data privacy, energy, and trusts & estates. Clients include large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions and individuals.