Some people wait to reorder toner and ink when their printer spews out documents with faint vertical stripes. Others jump to purchase more when their computer screen flashes the low ink warning. Rumor has it that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. could care less when his staff speed dials Staples to replace ink (well, with budget cuts throughout NYC he probably prefers waiting until the former and not the latter). Its not so much the timing of when one orders copy machine or printer toner that gets DA Vance’s goat, but whether or not the person is authorized to do so and does so in a manner that is consistent with his or her employment. Setting the tone for future work place malfeasance, DA Vance announced the indictment of Adrian Rodriguez, a former Fried Frank LLP employee, for allegedly purchasing north of $375,000 worth of ink and toner that he then sold at a fraction of the cost to line his own pockets.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office worked with Fried Frank LLP to catch the duplication department desperado by setting up a sting operation whereby undercover investigators hid inside refrigerator sized boxes of copy machine toner and ink delivered to the unsuspecting toner thief (small pencil sized holes were poked throughout to enable viewing and oxygen flow). When Rodriguez attempted to sell the ill gotten gains the following day, investigators immediately jumped out and exclaimed, “gotcha!” Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez voluntarily supplied prosecutors with a written confession on 48 blue and pink Post-its.
Sadly for Rodriguez, there is nothing cute or funny about his alleged theft (despite my efforts of course). The allegations and amount of the larceny are quite serious. While the above description of the events gave me a chuckle in an otherwise boring day, law enforcement did in fact conduct a sting operation where they allegedly tracked toner back to Rodriguez. Irrespective of how the investigation transpired, if true, Rodriguez faces serious crimes….and rightfully so (if you are looking for a defense attorney who will coddle you, you are probably in the wrong place). Although not indicted for lesser felonies such as Falsifying Business Records, Rodriguez now faces two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.40. A “C” felony, NY PL 155.40 carries a potential sentence for an individual with no record with as much as five to fifteen years in state prison. Simply, to prove the case against Rodriguez, prosecutors would be required to establish that he wrongfully obtained property that he intentionally took through some form of theft and the value exceeded $50,000, but was not greater than $1,000,000. Remember, Grand Larceny requires the theft or any type of property. Value then dictates the degree of the crime a defendant will face.
For those who are watching, the Vance administration is continuing to follow in the footsteps of New York’s Prosecutor, former District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Arguably, the New York District Attorney’s Office is becoming the “Mini-Feds” by behaving more rigid than the last administration in terms of white collar prosecutions and dispositions. If nothing else, DA Vance is certainly sending a strong message whether or not potential criminals are listening. If you commit crimes of financial fraud in Manhattan, do not be surprised when you are arrested and prosecuted. Further, do not be shocked when prosecutors seek significant bail and long prison sentences. Whether it is the theft of toner, cash or widgets, be prepared to mount a vigorous defense…If DA Vance has his way, it will not be “if” but “when” law enforcement catches up to you.
To learn more about any degree of Grand Larceny including Second Degree Grand Larceny, follow the links found in this entry. Additional information is available on the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com where you will find analysis of larceny crimes, statutes and legal decisions.
The New York Grand Larceny lawyers and criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC represent clients in all types of White Collar crime investigations, arrests and trials. Both founding partners served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorneys Office prior to establishing the law firm.