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Articles Posted in Grand Larceny

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In New York, in order to be charged and convicted of a theft-related crime, it generally must be alleged that the defendant stole the property from an “owner” of that property. In other words, you can’t steal property from someone who doesn’t own that property, and you can’t steal property that rightfully belongs to you. This makes all the sense in the world, and doesn’t seem like it could ever lead to any ambiguity. However, it often does, particularly in the context of family and other close personal relationships. This entry will address when the “ownership” threshold is satisfied for the NYPD, other police officers or any branch of law enforcement to make an arrest and the respective District Attorney have sufficient evidence to prosecute the crime of either Petit Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.25, or any degree of Grand Larceny.

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Grand Larceny in the State of New York is a serious felony offense that carries with it the possibility of significant state prison time. There are multiple degrees of Grand Larceny, from First Degree to Fourth Degree, which can have vastly different consequences and sentencing ranges. One of the key factors distinguishing the various degrees of Grand Larceny is the value of the property that was allegedly stolen, from more than $1000 for Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, New York Penal Law 155.30, to more than $1,000,000 for Grand Larceny in the First Degree, New York Penal Law 155.42. On the surface, this may seem like a simple and sensible way to differentiate these charges. However, a significant degree of complexity can be added to the mix in the form of the principle of Aggregation.

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Grand Larceny in New York is a theft or stealing when the value of the property wrongfully taken into your possession is greater than $1,000.00. This type of theft is defined as a Fourth Degree Grand Larceny according to New York Penal Law 155.30. As repeatedly noted throughout countless blogs, when the value is more than $3,000.00 the crime is elevated to Third Degree Grand Larceny as codified in New York Penal Law 155.35 as long as the amount does not exceed $50,000.00. Tucking away this basic understanding of these offenses, an element that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is the “taking” element while also identifying who the custodian is of that property or rightful owner. This entry addresses the legal concept of “taking” in a Grand Larceny and unlawful transaction as well as better defining who, and is not, an owner.

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You possess a $15,000.00 Rolex watch without the permission of the owner. You have an iPhone belonging to another person and he or she never gave you permission or authority to possess it. Certainly, if the owner never gave you the right to take, possess or have his or her property, whatever it may be and irrespective of its value, the fact that you possessed that property without a right to do so is proof of your guilt of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property pursuant to New York Penal Law Article 165? Although much depends on how prosecutors draft an accusatory instrument, without more than asserting you didn’t have permission, your criminal lawyer may successfully secure a dismissal of the complaint alleging Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.

In pertinent part, you are guilty of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property when you both knowingly possess the stolen property and when you do so with the purpose or objective to benefit yourself or a third party or, alternatively, to prevent the recovery of the property by the rightful owner. Just like Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny, if the amount or value of the property in question exceeds $1,000, $3,000, $50,000 or $1,000,000 the degree of the felony is enhanced in severity.

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Larceny crimes are fairly straight forward in New York State much like any other jurisdiction. If you steal property, irrespective of its value, and your intention is to keep it for yourself or from the rightful owner or possessor, you have committed either a Petit Larceny or a Grand Larceny as set forth in Article 155 of the New York Penal Law. Similarly, if you possess that property, knowing it is stolen and with the same intent to take it or prevent the rightful custodian from getting it back, then you are guilty of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property pursuant to Article 165 of the New York Penal Law.

The question or issues posed in this blog entry is how far you must go in your theft or possession of stolen property for a judge or jury to find you guilty of the same. In other words, what steps must you take or how far must you go to violate the law as either an attempted offense or a completed crime?

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Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, Orange County, is an outlet center that opened in late 1985 and has since expanded repeatedly over the years. The outlet center now how has about 220 stores and is one of the largest outlet centers in the country. The outlets are not only a destination for locals in Orange, Rockland and other nearby counties, but also for tourists visiting New York City, and City residents.

The size and nature of the complex attracts countless shoppers every year in addition to shoplifters and those using forged credit cards or other means of theft. Those arrested for these theft-related crimes will be prosecuted in Town of Woodbury Justice Court, and the County Court for Orange County in Goshen, NY if the case is indicted. This blog will address some of the crimes and criminal offenses prosecutors in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office can pursue for a shoplifting arrest or misuse and fraud involving credit cards.

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In the State of New York from Manhattan to Buffalo, Brooklyn to Syracuse and Queens to White Plains, the New York Penal Law reigns supreme. While each Judicial Department (there are four) may interpret the law differently, when the Court of Appeals rules, its decision must be followed by all prosecutors, criminal lawyers and judges throughout the Empire State. Regardless of whether you are arrested in New York City or Yonkers, if you are accused of a Grand Larceny or Petit Larceny the law mandates that it occur through one of the statutorily recognized means outlined in New York Penal Law 155.05(2)(a). Charged with PL 155.25, PL 155.30, PL 155.35 or faced with any other arrest for any larceny crime or degree, the wrongful taking must occur by common law larceny by trespassory taking, common law larceny by trick, embezzlement, or obtaining property by false pretenses.

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Most value based theft crimes share the same elements as one another outside of the necessity that the property in question reach a certain amount to raise the level of the offense. For example, Petit Larceny involves property valued at $1,000 or less while First Degree Grand Larceny requires that the property stolen be worth more than $1,000,000. Putting aside Grand Larceny crimes in New York that are item or object specific, stealing a credit card for example is automatically a felony of Fourth Degree Grand Larceny, the underlying elements are generally the same. You can look to NY PL 155.25, NY PL 155.30, NY PL 155.35 or an of the larceny crimes of the New York Penal Law and the common elemental bond is that you are guilty of larceny when you steal property. Taking this analysis one step further,  Penal Law 155.05(1) mandates that “[a] person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof.”

With these definitions in hand, the question presented by this particular blog is whether or not merely depriving someone of their property is sufficient to constitute a crime of larceny – Petit or Grand. Further, must the taking be permanent, for a long frame time or some other lesser period?

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Yes, when it rains it pours. No, not just pours, but it comes down in hail like driving sheets of rain. From catching a flight out of Russia to the United States expecting to traipse around Gotham before heading elsewhere to getting whisked away in handcuffs by the NYPD to the “Tombs” of Manhattan Central Booking, Svetlana Zakharova is arguably soaked to her core. What was initially described by the media as an attempt to extort approximately $50,000 from Eliot Spitzer, was in fact an actual and completed Grand Larceny by Extortion. According to the allegations leveled by a Bronx prosecutor serving as a special prosecutor on behalf of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Zahkarova succeeded in scaring the heck out of Client 9 to the point that he paid his alleged extorter $400,000.

Armed with the new allegations provided at Zakharova’s arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court, the presiding judge set bail to the tune of $1 million. Right or wrong, excessive or not, not only will Zakharova have time to put her defense together, but selfishly I can now leisurely put my rambling thoughts together to offer a brief analysis of the crimes Zakharova faces.

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Eliot Spitzer, the onetime New York State Governor and Attorney General, has once again found himself immersed in controversy. According to reports, however, the new tabloid fodder is not centered around alleged wrongdoing on the part of Client 9, but his alleged Attempted Extortion and Blackmail by Svetlana Zakharova, aka, Svetlana Travis. More specifically, Zakharova (Travis) had claimed that Spitzer met her in February 2016 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City where he choked and pushed her inside one of the rooms. Although merely speculation, it was reported that Travis worked as a high end Russian call girl and escort for as much as $5,000.00 a night. Despite Travis’ claims, after making the report to the police she refused to cooperate and returned to Russia. At some point she made financial demands of Spitzer who in turn initiated a civil suit against Travis only later dropping it.

Although I am not privy to the NYPD’s and Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation that led to the arrest of Svetlana Travis, the law of Extortion does not change from case to case. Instead, evidence must fit into the legal parameters of this crime. This blog entry will address this Grand Larceny offense and how the facts as they may be satisfy the elements of this alleged crime and conduct.

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