MANHATTAN – Today, Chinese community leader Thomas Sung endorsed Assembly Member Dan Quart for Manhattan District Attorney in a letter to Chinatown Democratic voters hitting mailboxes this week.
“In this troubling time, when hate crimes are rampant against minorities, discrimination is everywhere, and the rights of minorities are being ignored, we need true and just law enforcement,” said Sung. “It is of utmost importance that we have a District Attorney who will enforce the law for our safety and protection. Your choice for the DA will make a difference for the next four years. Based on my personal experience, Dan Quart stands out among all other candidates and deserves your vote on June 22nd.”
Following the 2008 financial crisis, none of the major American banks were prosecuted for their role in mortgage fraud. However, throughout his tenure in office, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. did cut “deferred prosecution agreements” with large international banks in exchange for fines. These deferred prosecution agreements are a key way the district attorney can grow their forfeiture fund, Manhattan having the largest.
Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small community bank founded by Sung to serve the Chinese community, was the only bank indicted by Vance. Having never originated substandard loans, Abacus fought the wrongful charges and won in 2015. The case was portrayed in the Oscar nominated documentary, “Abacus: Small Enough To Jail”. While Abacus was completely exonerated, Vance drained them of legal fees and was accused of going after a local community bank while the large banks got bailouts. Quart and other advocates believe Vance went after them because they had no money for a deferred prosecution agreement.
Quart called out the hypocrisy of the District Attorney's office and supported legislation (passed in the budget) that capped the money a district attorney can retain from fines and asset forfeitures. Realizing that this did not go far enough, Quart also fought for legislation that will eliminate any money that a district attorney can retain from fines and asset forfeitures. This is in direct response to Vance monetizing prosecutions and cutting deals for his forfeiture fund.
As of today Quart has been endorsed by: U.S. Congressmember Carolyn Maloney; activist and actor Michael K. Williams; New York State Senators John Liu and José M. Serrano; New York State Assembly members Carmen De La Rosa, Harvey Epstein, Ron Kim, Robert Rodriguez, Rebecca Seawright, and Aravella Simotas; New York City Council members Diana Ayala; DNC Vice Chair and Assembly member Michael Blake; New York City’s first Public Advocate Mark Green; CWA Local 1101; IATSE Local 1; National Association of Social Workers; Arturo Schomburg Democratic Club; Chelsea Reform Democratic Club; El Nuevo Caribe Democratic Club; East River Democratic Club; Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club; Four Freedoms Democratic Club; Lexington Democratic Club; gender justice activists Leah Hebert, Elizabeth Crothers, and Rita Pasarell; and activists Jeffrey Deskovic, Colin Absalom, T.S. Candii, Derrick Hamilton, and Taylonn Murphy Sr.