While an arrest for Grand Larceny can lead to an indictment charging only one crime, in New York City it is far from atypical for that Grand Larceny arrest to be a part of a much larger scheme. In fact, as shown by the recent arrest and indictment of Robert Giuliano, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree may just be the tip of his alleged criminal iceberg.
According to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Alpha Flight crew has caught up with the allegedly villainous Giuliano who is accused of defrauding at least two clients linked to a fraudulent concierge services website that he operated. It is believed by prosecutors that Giuliano’s high end luxury service promising VIP access to hot events from award shows and movie premieres to fashion shows and inaugural balls had a criminal element. Clients utilized Giuliano’s company, Giuliano Group Concierge, through its website at www.giulianogroup.tv. Using their credit cards online, clients were offered access to swank parties including the film premiere and after party for “American Pie: American Reunion” starring Jason Biggs, the TV premiere and after party for “Mad Men” starring Jon Hamm, January Jones and Christina Hendriks as well as a Russell Simmons privately hosted event for President Obama.
Despite the access offered by Giuliano, prosecutors claim that the defendant dipped into the credit card accounts of at least two clients who utilized his services. By allegedly forging at least one electronic signature, Giuliano is accused of pilfering $6,000 and $5,000 from these clients.
Whether the allegation against Giuliano are true or not (provable beyond a reasonable doubt is the correct terminology) is something that will be litigated and addressed by Giuliano and his counsel. Regardless of the outcome, the People’s theory is fairly clear. Prosecutors believe Giuliano is guilty of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (NY PL 155.35) for two separate thefts exceeding $3,000, but not more than $50,000. Additionally, he is allegedly guilty of Forgery in the Second Degree (NY PL 170.10) for drafting or affixing the electronic signature of a credit card holder without their permission and with the intent to defraud.The five counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree (NY PL 190.80) are likely associated with the use of “personal identifying information” of the complainants. The felony Identity Theft counts may stem from the commission of a “D” felony, such as Third Degree Grand Larceny or Second Degree Forgery, in conjunction with the Identity Theft. When these crimes are perpetrated together, the Identity Theft raises from a misdemeanor to a felony. Additionally, where the identity of another is used and, as a result, credit or property is obtained in an amount exceeding $2,000, then the First Degree crime has also been committed. The last felony charge, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (NY PL 175.10), is likely associated with the creation of or false entries made in the business records of one of the companies Giuliano dealt with. Again, when this is done in furtherance of a Grand Larceny, the crime becomes a felony. Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree is an “E” felony punishable by up to four years in prison while the other felony offenses addressed here are “D” felonies punishable by up seven years.
Identity Theft cases are often difficult to defend against especially when they are combined with numerous other felonies. However, there may be strong and viable defenses. Is there an answer as to why, if true, Giuliano accessed the credit card accounts of his clients? Can he establish permission? If an electronic signature was used and submitted online, what type of data was store by the receiving business? for example, is there an IP address that is tracked to a particular account and then ultimately back to Giuliano’s office, home, etc.? What, if anything, did Giulano say at the time of his arrest?
Whether Giuliano is ultimately exonerated or his conviction pops up in the local press, one thing is certain. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau will continue on its course of investigating and prosecuting these types of offenses both in Gotham and well beyond its borders.
To access relevant and informative information about each of the crimes above, either follow their respective links or go directly to the white collar crime section of New-York-Lawyers.org or to NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com. Each of these websites, as well as our blogs, are linked below and have information ranging from analysis of legal decisions to assessment of criminal statutes.
Established by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm representing clients throughout the New York City region. One of our New York criminal defense attorneys, Jeremy Saland, was a senior prosecutor assigned to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Identity Theft Unit and Major Case Section upon its creation