Theft by Extortion & Blackmail

Assistant District Attorneys, judges and New York criminal lawyers are routinely involved in various New York Grand Larceny crimes and prosecutions. While most are straight forward thefts or larcenies based on the value of the property stolen, some are significantly more complicated. One of those more complicated crimes, and often times very intricate, is Extortion and Blackmail. Because Extortion and Blackmail are misunderstood crimes, those who do not realize they are perpetrating one of New York's two Grand Larceny by Extortion crimes may find themselves slowly sliding into New York's criminal justice system without intending to do so. Keep in mind, however, that Grand Larceny by Extortion or Blackmail in New York is a value based crime. While there are two specific statutes that deal with this offense, the crime you are charged with, and the severity of the potential prison sentence you face, mimics that of all other theft crimes in New York.

Defining Extortion: New York Penal Law 155.05(2)(e)

Are you committing a Grand Larceny by Extortion if you scare your neighbor into paying a debt by threatening to tell his wife he is having an affair? Have you perpetrated a Grand Larceny by Extortion or Blackmail if you have a video of a drunk celebrity and you demand payment for that video in lieu of turning it over to a television station? Alternatively, has Grand Larceny by Extortion transpired if you threaten to report a person to the police if they do not repay you after they damaged your property in a fit of anger? Too many to type or address, perceived and actual Grand Larceny by Extortion transpires through countless means.

New York Extortion crimes are specifically defined in the New York Penal Law. The section that deals with Blackmail and Extortion is New York Penal Law section 155.05(2)(e). In general terms, if you compel another person to give you property (usually money) by scaring that person into doing so, you may have committed Extortion. This fear that you instill that drives the other person to give you property must be fear that you or another person will commit a specific act. Some of the more common examples of these acts delineated under New York Penal Law 155.05(2)(e) are as follows:

  • Cause a physical injury to another person
  • Cause damage to property
  • Commit a crime
  • Accuse a person of a crime
  • Expose a secret or fact, regardless of its veracity, that tends to subject him or her contempt or ridicule
  • Perform an act that serves no benefit to you but would hurt another person's reputation, health or business

Assuming your actions establish the elements of a Grand Larceny by Extortion, prosecutors have the ability to present your case to a Grand Jury. If they do so, and you are indicted by that body, state prison is a very real concern. Because of this, if you are the target of an Extortion investigation or you have been arrested for the same, it is imperative to get legal counsel experienced in the crime of Extortion. One of Crotty Saland PC's founding criminal lawyers, Jeremy Saland, not only was the lead prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorneys Office Extortion investigation and indictment involving the NBA's Carmelo Anthony, but various media outlets sought Mr. Saland's opinion and insight in the David Letterman Extortion case as well.

For a wealth of information on Extortion crimes and other Grand Larceny offenses in New York, please review this website as well as our main website at CrottySaland.Com . Furthermore, detailed analysis of larceny and theft statutes as well as legal decisions is available on both the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com and the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com.

Call our New York Criminal Defense Attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or Contact Us Online Today.