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Articles Posted in Grand Larceny

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The difference between a felony larceny arrest when compared to a misdemeanor larceny crime in New York is significant. After all, felonies are crimes that are more likely to negatively impact professional licenses, immigration statuses, and other privileges and rights. Further a Grand Larceny conviction, as opposed to a Petit Larceny conviction, carries a greater potential term of incarceration. In New York, for example, a PL 155.25 (Petit Larceny) conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail while a PL 155.30 (Fourth Degree Grand Larceny) or PL 155.35 (Third Degree Grand Larceny) conviction is punishable by up to four years and seven years in a New York State prison respectively. Other Grand Larceny crimes such as Second or First Degree Grand Larceny are punishable by even greater years of incarceration.

What the above information highlights is the fact that should you face an arrest or indictment for a larceny crime in New York, one of the critical questions you should ask is whether or not the dollar amount of the theft can be decreased thereby lowering the degree of the crime. In concrete terms, can a Third Degree Grand Larceny be reduced to a Fourth Degree Grand Larceny or a Fourth Degree Grand Larceny be knocked down to a Petit Larceny? The following blog entry will analyze the aggregation scenario where crimes can be increased or enhanced and one worthy of discussing with your own criminal lawyer in the event it is on point with your case.

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Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor Petit Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.25, or a more serious felony including Grand Larceny in the Fourth, Third or even greater degree, New York Penal Law 155.30 and 155.35 respectively, there are certain common elements that prosecutors must establish beyond a reasonable doubt. While a conviction for PL 155.25 may “only” carry a sentence of up to one year in jail where as a conviction for PL 155.30 or PL 155.35 may be punishable by as great as four or seven years respectively, each arrest stemming from an Article 155 allegation requires the same degree of attention. The hurdle of legal sufficiency must always be overcome by prosecutors and challenged by your criminal defense attorney. This blog entry will address one of those elements or mandatory traits of a viable PL 155.25, PL 155.30, PL 155.35, PL 155.40 or PL 155.42 arrest. That is, it is it enough for a District Attorney to establish your intent to temporarily use another’s property or must they establish your intent to permanently deprive an owner of the same?

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No matter how long your criminal defense lawyer or criminal defense attorney has practiced in the courts of New York, every criminal trial he or she faces is unique and can have complex legal issues. During a criminal trial a defendant may be charged with multiple crimes and the jury may find the defendants guilty of, all, none or an assortment of crimes charges but not all of them. After the verdict is issued, a criminal defense attorney can argue that the verdict should be overturned for various reasons. Two potential ways your criminal lawyer can challenge a verdict is if the verdict is legally repugnant or legally insufficient.

A jury verdict is legally repugnant if the verdict is inherently inconsistent when viewed in light of the elements of each crime as charged to the jury. The repugnancy claim can be a useful legal tool when the jury verdict is inconsistent with the elements of the crime and should be used to overturn inherently inconsistent verdicts. People v. Forde illuminates some of the issues that can arise when a legal repugnancy or a legal sufficiency claim is made.

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Every element of every crime is equally important. Irrespective of the charge you face, prosecutors in New York City, Westchester County or anywhere else in the State of New York must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. This is no different if you you are charged with Grand Larceny as codified in Article 150 of the New York Penal Law or a violent offense of Assault as codified in Article 120 of the New York Penal Law. Addressing the former offense of Grand Larceny, one of the elements that an Assistant District Attorney must prove to a jury or a judge at trial is that the value of the alleged property you allegedly stole exceeds either $1,000.00, $3,000.00, $50,000.00 or $1,000,000.00. Simply, value is an essential element of any Grand Larceny crime that your criminal lawyer or criminal defense attorney will vigorously challenge. If a judge or jury agrees with you, as opposed to the prosecutor, then either the trial will end in an acquittal or a conviction for a lesser criminal offense. Where a case involves cash or money, your attorney’s task may be quite difficult, but how is value assessed (or challenged) when the value of the property in question is not easily quantified?

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. is at it again. No, Vance’s band of prosecutorial marauders have not just hopped, skipped and jumped from county to county or state to state, but Vance’s seemingly infinitely long appendages have grabbed yet another alleged fraudster. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office website, junior Ponzi schemer and United States Naval Academy graduate, Bryan Caisse, duped friends and former classmates out of more than $1 million when law enforcement finally caught up to him in airport in Bogotá, Colombia. Although in the aggregate the crime(s) exceeded $1,000,000, and therefore could be the basis of a First Degree Grand Larceny arrest, Caisse dodged a proverbial bullet. Instead, it appears that DA Vance’s minions charged Caisse with multiple lesser offenses including Second Degree Grand Larceny and Third Degree Grand Larceny on an individual basis. Of course, avoiding mandatory state prison on a plea or conviction of First Degree Grand Larceny is a hollow victory. There is no doubt prosecutors will ask for, and many judges would sentence, a term of incarceration in a New York State prison.

Prosecutors claim that commencing sometime in 2008, Caisse said he was going to start a company, Huxley Capital Management. Friends and former classmates contributed and gave Caisse more than $1 million. What is right out of Bernie Maddoff’s DIY handbook, it is alleged that Caisse pocket the money for such items as rental payments, car services, personal debts, credit cards, cash withdrawals, and restaurants. Ultimately, when the the “investors” sought repayment, Caisse couldn’t deliver. Prosecutors have gone as far as to assert that Caisse even claimed he was in a car accident to avoid repayment. Unfortunately for some of the investors, it is believed only some folks were paid back from stolen proceeds of others.

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If being accused of a New York felony isn’t scary enough, being arrested for a felony crime where your immigration status stands in the balance certainly is. A Crotty Saland PC client accused of stealing more than $100,000 and attempting to steal an additional $275,000 from a client of the bank he managed, faced such fears. Fortunately for our client, however, despite being arrested for Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 110/155.40) and accused of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 155.40), our client ultimately resolved his arrests with a misdemeanor plea to Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.25). A misdemeanor, our client received the equivalent of “time served.” Throughout the entire process since our client’s arrest, prosecutors offered or recommended felony pleas that included as much as six years in prison. If convicted, our client faced an even greater sentence.

Before continuing, and by way of background, a person is guilty of Second Degree Grand Larceny (NY PL 155.40) if and when that person steals property (money, for example) and the value of the property is greater than $50,000, but does not exceed $1,000,000. Obviously, an Attempted Second Degree Grand Larceny (NY PL 110/155.40) is an attempt to commit this crime. A completed Grand Larceny in the Second Degree carries a punishment and sentence of up to five to fifteen years in prison for a first time offender while an attempt to commit that crime carries a sentence of up to two and one third to seven years in prison.

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Calling it a theme may be too strong, but Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. is plugging away on his mission to snag, a/k/a, arrest, white collar defendants who commit Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property felonies in New York City. One look at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office website will reveal a laundry list of defendants who have either been indicted for or convicted of a theft or fraud crime. In fact, the website even republishes articles by local newspapers on many of the same cases addressed in these various press releases. It need not take a legal scholar to grasp that C. Vance and Company runs one District Attorney’s Office that is serious and aggressive about prosecuting more than Gotham’s street crime.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, the newest “victim,” of law enforcement’s watchful eye is Rickey Smith for stealing more than $250,000 from the low-income Housing Development Fund Corporation. No small number, if true, the potential sentence for Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is as much as five to fifteen years in prison. Even though a conviction for New York Penal Law 155.40 does not require imprisonment for a first time offender, there should be little doubt that prosecutors will seek some amount of jail or prison. In addition to Second Degree Grand Larceny, a Grand Jury also indicted Smith for three counts of First Degree Falsifying Business Records. A lesser felony, New York Penal Law 175.10 is punishable by as much as one and one third to four years in state prison.

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One need not perpetrate an Embezzlement or an Extortion to be arrested or charged with a New York Grand Larceny crime. Heck, outright scheming by forging checks is so “yesterday.” If you want to be on the forefront of Grand Larceny offenses, you have to concoct a solid heist. Although he did not get away with it, according to Cyrus Vance’s Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Phivos Istavrioglou was indicted by a New York Grand Jury for his alleged theft of Salvador Dali’s 1949 watercolor, “Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio.” While the $150,000 price tag is certainly lost on me (I assume an expert testified in the Grand Jury that the painting is worth more than a 1978 Bob Ross “Happy Little Trees”), Istavrioglou is facing serious crimes and potentially serious time.

According to reports, Istavrioglou strolled into an Upper East Side art gallery, opened up a shopping bag, removed “Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio” from the wall and dropped it right inside. Despite surveillance cameras set up around the gallery, Istavrioglou strolled right out. There can be little doubt that the gallery has some explaining to do in their complete lapse of security when such valuable and historic pieces of artwork are left vulnerable, but maintaing compromised security is not a crime. Stealing, however, is.

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What can easily be described as one of the best results one could achieve in a case involving allegations of New York Criminal Tax Fraud and Grand Larceny, the New York criminal defense lawyers and Grand Larceny defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC secured a misdemeanor plea without probation or incarceration for a client accused of New York tax crimes in excess of $180,000. Initially, prosecutors sought our client’s surrender, arrest and potential indictment for crimes including Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law 155.40 and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree, New York Tax Law 1805. If convicted of these crimes, our client faced as much as five to fifteen years in state prison on each count. Simply, it was alleged our client withheld these tax dollars and wrongfully filed returns.

Unfortunately, upon being advised of the investigation, the Assistant District Attorney spearheading the criminal case initially sought a felony plea. Crotty Saland PC argued that while sales tax monies may in fact be owed, the dollar amount suggested by prosecutors was incorrect. Regardless of the amount, our client did not have the intent to steal. Obviously, the defense pursued on our client’s behalf was very fact specific, but was not without its pitfalls, for example, one commits a Tax Fraud Act, the basis of any Criminal Tax Fraud crime, if one fails to file a return. In that regard, there were certain difficulties in a complete defense to the allegations. Despite these concerns, however, one of our criminal lawyers successfully argued that not only should the crime be prosecuted as a misdemeanor New York Criminal Tax Fraud 1802, but that the dollar amount was more than $40,000 less than the $180,000 claimed by the District Attorney’s Office.

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While most people think Grand Larceny is always a White Collar crime, the laws of New York State do not always reflect that misconception. Yes, while New York White Collar criminal lawyers and Grand Larceny defense attorneys who represent clients in these offenses routinely do so in the context of an Embezzlement or Criminal Tax Fraud, a Grand Larceny arrest need not be White Collar. One Grand Larceny crime that stands out from the White Collar pack, is Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.30(5). This specific subsection does not address the value of a theft or the nature of the property stolen, but codifies the felony of taking property from another’s person. Simply, if you take property from the person of another (the watch from their wrist, wallet in their pocket, cash in their hand or even bag over their shoulder), you are guilty of a crime that caries a sentence of up to four years in prison. Although it wouldn’t be a completely fair description as force is not an element of this crime, NY PL 155.30(5) can be described as Robbery “light.”

What is interesting about this particular subsection of Grand Larceny is how it not only is completely different than other sub crimes of PL 155.30, but the ease by which it is prosecuted. Did you get into a fight with your neighbor and take his mobile phone and run off or are you a pickpocket that New Yorkers are warned about during their daily commute in Gotham’s subterranean transit system? Arguably the first hypothetical doesn’t seem overly devious in comparison to the second. In the eyes of the law, however, there is no distinction.

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