Theft by Scheme to Defraud
Whether its is an enormous Ponzi scheme perpetrated on financial investors or something that seems far less ugly such as a fraud committed against would be tenants by renting apartments without authority and skipping town with a few thousand dollars, Scheme to Defraud in New York is a very serious offense. In fact, New York prosecutors can, and do, issue warrants for arrest or present cases to the Grand Jury that involve two distinct Scheme to Defraud crimes. In situations such as this, you may be free one day and the next find yourself in custody with your career, livelihood and freedom all in jeopardy. Whether you are charged in Manhattan for Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (New York Penal Law 190.65) or in Brooklyn for Scheme to Defraud in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 190.60), it is likely that the New York Assistant District Attorney in the county you are prosecuted has a lot more in store for you. Do not be naïve or misinformed. You will need the assistance and guidance of an experienced New York criminal lawyer or fraud defense attorney to help you navigate New York’s criminal justice system when faced with either one of these Scheme to Defraud crimes.
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree: NY PL 190.65
- Scheme to Defraud in the Second Degree: NY PL 190.60
Understanding Scheme to Defraud
Generally speaking, a Scheme to Defraud is an ongoing crime that involves more than one person who you defrauded or fooled into giving you some form of property. As such, and as noted above, an arrest, charge or indictment for Scheme to Defraud is usually just the “tip of the iceberg.” For example, if the allegation against you is that you defrauded five people out of $5,000 each through some investment scheme, then not only would face a felony charge of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree where you would face up to four years in prison, you would also face at least one charge of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. This theft felony is punishable by as much as seven years in state prison. The worst part for the accused is that even a first time offender with no criminal history could end up being incarcerated for a very long time. Make no mistake. If your conduct involves more “devious” larceny or theft conduct, you could be facing offenses as serious as “C” or “B” felonies. These crimes are punishable by as much as fifteen or twenty-five years in state prison respectively. Some of these other felony offenses that are often associated with Scheme to Defraud 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
Victim Identification in a Scheme to Defraud Case
Beyond the general concepts or principles of a New York Scheme to Defraud allegation and the crimes associated with it, there is an element and requirement in any Scheme to Defraud case whether it is of the felony or misdemeanor variety. Prosecutors are required to identify at least one victim of your alleged scam. That is, prosecutors must actually prove the identity of at least one person you are claimed to have obtained property (often money). The other alleged victims’ identity need not be proven.
Investigated or Arrested for Scheme to Defraud: Your First Step
Remember, Scheme to Defraud is often the means by which you perpetrate a crime such as Grand Larceny. As such, that other offense is usually the more serious crime you will end up facing. Having said that, if for some reason this is not the situation in your case, prison and a felony record still remain very real possibilities. Talking to the police or prosecutors without counsel could bring you one step closer to a tattered life. If you believe you are the target or a Scheme to Defraud arrest, investigation or indictment, take the proper steps to identify your best defense and set that defense into motion. Review this website as well as our other websites and blogs to educated yourself on the law and put yourself in the best placed to move your defense forward.
The New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC have the experience, knowledge and skill to not just protect your today, but well beyond tomorrow.
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