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Manhattan Embezzlement Investigation Results in No Charges: Grand Larceny Case in Excess of $100,000 Stops Short of Arrest

Sometimes the threat of an arrest or prosecution is enough to send an innocent person into a deep depression or panic. After all, if an Assistant District Attorney or detective with the NYPD is asking you questions (never forget your right to counsel and similar right to refuse to answer questions), the hint of wrongdoing is as embarrassing as it is crippling. In the context of a White Collar crime such as a larceny, theft, tax fraud or embezzlement related offense, whether it is your neighbor, employer, accountant or friends, when these people are subpoenaed or merely questioned by law enforcement, the brand of the Scarlet Letter is coming in hot. With or without an arrest, the old adage of “where there’s smoke there’s fire” holds true even if you are free from any wrongdoing. Simply, it is never too early for you and your criminal lawyer to get in front of these types of allegations.

As New York criminal defense attorneys familiar and experienced in every stage of a criminal case from the investigatory inception through trial before a judge or jury, one thing that Saland Law PC does with regularity is consult with clients to best get them out in front of any allegation of wrongdoing. A recent White Collar case handled by one of our criminal lawyers demonstrates how this strategy can, in the right circumstance, provide closure to a subject or target while freeing them from even the appearance of impropriety.

Before ultimately declining to prosecute our client, prosecutors in the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office investigated an alleged fraud that had the appearance of a Grand Larceny Embezzlement and Second Degree Grand Larceny. Because the nature of the accused theft by our client exceeded $50,000, but was less than $1,000,000, our client not only had exposure to a felony, but a sentence of as much as five to fifteen years in prison. In fact, like any type or form of Grand Larceny in New York, the value dictates the charge. In the event there was an arrest, indictment and conviction, New York Penal Law 155.40 would have left our client vulnerable to not only incarceration, but jeopardized our client’s professional licenses and certifications. Generally speaking, even without going to prison, an accountant, lawyer, physician or any similarly situated professional monitored by FINRA or FDIC regulations, answerable to a legal Bar Association, or any other accrediting body would compromise their livelihood with such an arrest.

Based on their initial investigation, law enforcement believed that out client, during our client’s position managing and handling financial accounts, moved over $100,000 from the employer’s business account to a personal and private account of our client. Certainly, on its face there are few if any reasonable explanations why an employee would take six figures from a business account and move it to his or her personal account. Here, however, despite its appearance, our lawyers constructed and presented an accurate and reasonable explanation why those monies were transferred without the knowledge of the employer and ultimately returned to the employer. Without going into detail, prosecutors were rightfully hesitant at first, but upon meeting with one of our attorneys and our client, the District Attorney’s Office made the right decision to cease both the investigation and potential prosecution. Embarrassment, shame, incarceration and decimation of livelihood averted.

More often than not, if the People, the District Attorney’s Office and its prosecutors, have evidence of a White Collar crime including Embezzlement, it will be a difficult task to convince them they are wrong. That said, in this particular case, advocacy struck the right chord of fact over fiction.

To better understand New York Grand Larceny crimes including New York Penal Law 155.40 and other subsections and substantive larceny statutes as well as legal decisions interpreting the law and case results, take a few moments to examine this blog as well as the blogs and websites linked below.

New York criminal lawyers experienced in representing those accused of larceny crimes from Tax Fraud and Embezzlement to Extortion and Shoplifting, the former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law PC represent clients throughout New York City and many suburban communities.


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