In what can be described as an interesting twist on an increasingly common crime, Queens prosecutors have charged Delloyd Hill, a.k.a., Tom Hill, with multiple counts of Grand Larceny, Identity Theft and Scheme to Defraud for allegedly defrauding a half-a-dozen physicians. Hill's arrest stems from an investigation by the NYPD and the Queens County District Attorney's office into Hill's alleged scheme where he posed as a Harvard graduate and convinced numerous doctors to invest in an allegedly bogus medical facility. Further, it is claimed by law enforcement that Hill convinced these doctors that he was interviewing them for particular positions at the alleged fictitious facility.
According to prosecutors, between April 23, 2012, and September 25, 2012, Hill is alleged to have opened three lines of credit with the medical equipment financing company, TCF Equipment Finance Inc. The three lines of credit were opened using personal identifying information of unknowing physicians totaling in excess of $400,000. These lines allegedly totaled $215,000, $200,000, and an undetermined amount respectively. In addition to the lines of credit, District Attorney Brown believes that Hill defrauded his landlord and another individual to invest a total of $65,000 into the claimed bogus business venture.
Although the extent by which prosecutors pursue charges and different criminal theories will impact the the indictment, many of Hill's potential indictment charges are fairly clear. In order for a Grand Jury to return an indictment for any criminal charge, the Grand Jury must generally find as follows (remember, the standard is less than what is required at trial):
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 155.40): The evidence before the Grand Jury must establish that Hill intentionally stole property (here money) from another and the value of that property exceeded $50,000 but was not greater than $1,000,000. There can be more than one count of this crime depending on the theory of the prosecution. Not only can each individual who lost more then $50,000 be used as a victim, one could argue that the TCF Equipment Finance, Inc., could also be a victim in the event that it actually lost the monies associated with the lines of credit (alternatively, one could argue TCF was a victim of an Attempted Second Degree Grand Larceny). Further, the individual losses could potentially be aggregated into a sole count based on the common scheme, but where there are multiple victims this aggregation is usually associated with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. As a result of these different theories, it is likely Hill will face multiple counts of New York Penal Law 155.40.
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (New York Penal Law 155.35): At a minimum, the two individuals who were defrauded of $65,000 (according to the press release the monies given by the landlord and a friend were $35,000 and $30,000 respectively), could be the basis of a Third Degree Grand Larceny charge. This crime occurs where a theft is greater than $3,000, but not more than $50,000. Just like first Degree Grand Larceny, it is possible for aggregation whereby the crimes would be added up to a greater offense.
First Degree Identity Theft (New York Penal Law 190.80): If you use another person's personal identifying information (name, date of birth, social security number, account number, etc.) while presenting yourself as that person and you obtain services, property or other items in the amount that aggregates $2,000 or more, you are guilty of this crime. If you perpetrate the same actions without obtaining $2,000 or more and you do so while committing another "D" felony offense, you are also guilty of Identity Theft in the First Degree. Here, where the physicians' information was used to open lines of credit in the multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars, one subsection of this crime has like been committed. Further, where Forgery was committed in the completion of this crime (such as filling out paperwork with a bank purporting to be from a physician, the "D" felony theory has also been violated.
Forgery in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 170.10): Prosecutors will be able to establish Second Degree Forgery if they can establish that Hill, with the intent to defraud, completed or even partially filled out a written instrument, such as a loan application, which gave him certain rights to access property or money. Certainly there may be other written instruments that fall into this category, but what should be of great concern is that each time this crime is committed, meaning each falsely completed or drafted written instrument, a new separate offense has occurred.
Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (New York Penal Law 190.65): The least serious felony of all those listed, but nonetheless a serious crime, Hill committed First Degree Scheme to Defraud occurs if he engaged in an ongoing course of conduct with the purpose of defrauding at least one person false pretenses or promises out of $1,000 or more. Again, assuming prosecutors have the evidence to support the claims in their press release, the dollar amount, nature of the fraud and number of people seems to clearly violated New York Penal Law 190.65.
The above crimes and charges are some of the likely offenses that Hill will face (the Queens County DA's Office will ultimately determine charges they wish to present to a Grand Jury). As noted, the theories of the prosecution, aggregation possibilities and available evidence may alter subsections of crimes or bring about other offenses not addressed here. Regardless, because there is no doubt that at least a "C" felony level offense (Second Degree Grand Larceny) is a viable crime ("viable" does not mean Hill can't defend himself or prosecutor can prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt), Hill will face at least as much as five to fifteen years in prison if he does not have a prior felony and even seven and one half to fifteen years in prison if he is a predicate felon. Although the other crimes mentioned here are lesser offenses, they too are felonies with potential state prison sentences.
To learn more about the specific crimes mentioned or other potential offenses, the links above as well as CrottySaland.Com and NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com have relevant, thorough and non-technical analysis of a great number of theft, fraud and white collar crimes. Further reading is available on our blogs linked below where legal decisions impacting New York's criminal statutes are also reviewed.
Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York Grand Larceny lawyers and criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC represent clients throughout the New York City region.