Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree
If New York prosecutors arrest or indict you for a First Degree Scheme to Defraud pursuant to New York Penal Law 190.65, it is likely that they firmly believe your conduct was not merely a one time criminal transgression, but part of an ongoing act of serious fraud. To be clear, whether you are charged with other defendants or as a sole perpetrator, it is very likely that Scheme to Defraud is one of many crimes, allegations and arrest charges you will face. While you and your criminal defense attorney will do your best to determine what other crimes may be on the horizon, be prepared to face both a District Attorney’s Office and a New York court system that does not look kindly upon allegations of wide spread or multi-victim financial crimes.
Understanding First Degree Scheme to Defraud
You are guilty of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree if you conduct yourself in one of the two following manners:
(a) You engage in a course of conduct scheme that is systematic or ongoing. Your scheme must be perpetrated with an intent to defraud at least ten people or to obtain property from ten or more people. Further, you must attempt to obtain the property by false pretenses or representations and actually obtain property from at least one of these individuals.
(b) You engage in a course of conduct scheme that is systematic or ongoing. Your scheme must be perpetrated with an intent to defraud at least two people or to obtain property from two or more people. Further, you must attempt to obtain the property by false pretenses or representations and actually obtain property from at least one of these individuals with a value in excess of $1,000.
As with the misdemeanor crime of Second Degree Scheme to Defraud, prosecutors must prove the identity of at least one person who is a victim of your alleged criminal actions.
The danger of a conviction for any felony offense can be overwhelming. Not only can a conviction for First Degree Scheme to Defraud result in a loss of professional licenses and certifications, you will face up to four years in prison even with no prior brushes with the criminal justice system.
Collateral & Principle Crimes Associated with NY PL 190.65
Regardless of whether or not it is the principle crime you are alleged to have commited or a collateral offense, it is rare that Scheme to Defraud is a solitary count of an arrest or indictment in New York. After all, the basis of this charge is that you are believed to have tried to take property or steal from other people. Whether it be a Ponzi scheme, an apartment rent scam, a mortgage fraud scheme or some other purported acts, there are other crimes - and much more serious ones – that you may face. To better understand this, it may help to look at felony Scheme to Defraud as a means or manner by which you are accused of trying to commit a larceny. Whether you committed a Burglary, Robbery, trespassory theft or some other similar offense, the “end game,” as will likely be alleged by Assistant District Attorneys, is that you attempted to or did in fact steal someone else’s property or money. As such, some of the crimes you may face will include:
- Grand Larceny: NY PL Article 155
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: NY PL Article 165
- Enterprise Corruption: NY PL Article 460.20
- Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument: NY PL Article 170
- Forgery: NY PL Article 170
- Falsifying Business Records: NY PL Article 175
To drive home the reality that the crimes that you may face are more serious than First Degree Scheme to Defraud, the above offenses range from “E” felonies to “B” felonies. Should prosecutors be able to prove you committed a “B” felony Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property or you were involved in an organized enterprise that perpetrated the scheme, your status as a first time offender will have little relevance. Baring your criminal defense attorney being able to mount a legal challenge to the crimes or mitigate your conduct, you will face mandatory state prison.
Protect yourself. Review the materials on Scheme to Defraud and related crimes on this website as well as Crotty Saland PC’s other blogs and websites. Armed with knowledge you gain there, contact our criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors who will work alongside you to implement what we believe will be your best defense to protecting your freedom and preserving your future.
Call the New York Scheme to Defraud Lawyers at Crotty Saland PC at 212.312.7129 or Contact Us Online to Start Your Criminal Defense Now