Elizabeth Block is an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of New York Attorney General, Andrew M. Cuomo. She has served under six Attorneys General for over 30 years and is currently, the Section Chief for Investor Education and Outreach in the Bureau of Investment Protection. Over the course of her employment with the Bureau, she has been involved in almost every aspect of its work: registration and review as head of the Theatrical Syndication section; proposing and drafting legislation; and handling investigations and enforcement matters. In connection with the latter, she has prosecuted sellers of fraudulent promissory notes in New York in coordination with a nationwide NASAA sweep; and sellers of fraudulent securities of every variety, including theatrical limited partnerships. She has also been a member of several NASAA committees, including the Artistic Syndication Committee and the Disclosure Standards Committee. Most recently, she has worked with the Investor Education Coordination project group.
In her capacity as Section Chief for Investor Education and Outreach, Ms. Block frequently speaks to community and civic groups, senior group, as well as teachers, educators and community outreach workers in order to increase investor awareness of how to invest safely and how not to become a victim of fraud. She spoke at conferences of “9/11 survivors” who had received settlements through the federal claims process and were faced with difficult decisions with respect to investing their funds wisely. She has also participated with other groups and institutions, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to further the goal of effective Investor Education. She has overseen the production of investor education materials on behalf of the Attorney General, including materials that she was instrumental in developing with the NASAA Investor Education Coordination project group. The publication entitled When Your Broker Calls, Take Notes was cited by syndicated columnist Jane Bryant Quinn as an important tool for investors. Most importantly, she oversees the securities complaint section of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Investor Protection which receives an average of almost 3000 written complaints per year and dozens of phone calls a day. She personally reviews all complaints and determines which ones to recommend for further action. In this role, she has received an extensive education in the ways investors are defrauded and misled and what type of programs or information might prevent the investor from making poor judgments or from becoming a victim of fraud or bad advice.
Prior to her career in the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Block worked for two years in the Law and Compliance Department of Merrill Lynch. In the years before she entered law school, she worked for the Nassau County Youth Board as a research associate involved in developing measurement standards for evaluating the efficacy of community youth programs funded by the State of New York.
Ms. Block writes the commentaries on New York State’s Theatrical Syndication Law published by McKinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York. Her articles have been published in the Brooklyn Law School Journal of Law and Policy and the Hofstra Law Review. She graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1975, where she edited the Notes and Comments Section of its law review. She graduated cum laude from Hofstra University with a B.A. in psychology.