New York Detectives just arrested you at your place of business or your home. Maybe you have not been arrested, but law enforcement is seeking to talk with you about some questionable financial transactions. You are not naïve to what is going on or confused as to why the police have come. The one word answer is “Embezzlement” and you know if not handled properly, the Embezzlement investigation or arrest will quickly go from bad to worse. What is your next step? How will you defend yourself? Should you apologize, admit to what you have done or try to talk yourself out of this criminal predicament? If you do so, is that a possible admission that will be used against you? Simply, what is New York Embezzlement law and how are you going to protect yourself in the immediate sense while also preserving your life and career going forward?Defining Embezzlement in New York
An experienced New York Embezzlement lawyer will likely tell you that there really is no crime of Embezzlement in New York. Yes, embezzling money from an employer is a criminal offense regardless of whether it occurs in Manhattan, Brooklyn, White Plains or Queens, but an arrest charge in court or on a “rap sheet” will not read “Embezzlement.” Instead, the appropriate statutes for New York Embezzlement crimes are often found in Article 155 of the New York Penal Law. These Article 155 crimes include all the degrees of Grand Larceny, New York’s theft and larceny statute. Although Grand Larceny is usually the main focus of any Embezzlement arrest, indictment or trial in New York, it is in no way the only crime that you may face. Other Embezzlement crimes may include:
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property (NY PL Article 165) for the possession of the monies or funds associated with the Grand Larceny Embezzlement whether those monies are in bank accounts, cash or in the form of other assets. Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the felony context ranges from “E” felonies to “B” felonies.
- Second Degree Forgery (NY PL 170.10) for the altering and forging of certain documents (invoices, financial documents, transaction records, etc.) during the course of the Embezzlement. Forgery in the Second Degree is a “D” felony.
- Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument (NY PL 170.25) for the possession of the documents that were forged with the intent to defraud. Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree is a “D” felony.
- First Degree Falsifying Business Records (NY PL 175.10) for the altering, manipulating and deleting of records of a private business that were changed to advance the theft. Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree is an “E” felony.
- First Degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing (NY PL 175.35) for filing fraudulent and altered documents with the intent to defraud a public office. Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree is an “E” felony.
Each and every one of the offenses listed above is felonious as opposed to a misdemeanor crime. In substance, a felony is an offense where terms of state prison exceeding one year are permissible under the law. In fact, the sentencing guidelines for the above felony crimes are fairly clear. State prison is a very real possibility and in many circumstances incarceration is mandatory.Grand Larceny & Embezzlement
The easiest way to understand both Embezzlement and Grand Larceny in New York is to look at the crime as an unlawful taking of another’s property with the intent to deprive that person of the property or withhold the same. In the context of Embezzlement, the property in question is money whether it is obtaining the funds through fraudulent checks, improper use of a credit card, unapproved wire transfers or any other method. What dictates the severity of any Embezzlement and Grand Larceny arrest in New York is the value of the property. Again, in the context discussed here, examining the total amount of the theft from one business or complainant is generally how prosecutors determine the degree of the crime.
Briefly, the following are the Grand Larceny crimes for Embezzlement in New York:
- First Degree Grand Larceny (NY PL 155.42) is a “B” felony punishable by as much as twenty five years in prison where an Embezzlement exceeds $1,000,000.
- Second Degree Grand Larceny (NY PL 155.40) is a “C” felony punishable by as much as fifteen years in prison where an Embezzlement exceeds $50,000 and is not greater than $1,000,000.
- Third Degree Grand Larceny (NY PL 155.35) is a “D” felony punishable by as much as seven years in prison where an Embezzlement exceeds $3,000 and is no greater than $50,000.
- Fourth Degree Grand Larceny (NY PL 155.30) is an “E” felony punishable by as much as four years in prison where an Embezzlement exceeds $1,000 and is no greater than $3,000.
Keep in mind that it is important to discuss with your New York Embezzlement lawyer how prosecutors aggregate multiple thefts over extended periods of times to increase the degree or severity of the Grand Larceny charge that you may face.Your Defense Against an Embezzlement Arrest
As successful as the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC have been in representing client against arrests and indictments for Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Embezzlement and other fraud crimes, results and past success in no way guarantees similar outcomes. Your best defense requires an assessment of the evidence against you and a plan of action to challenge the evidence against you or mitigate the conduct in question. The only thing that is certain in any Embezzlement and fraud arrest in New York is that waiting and “doing nothing” or retaining inexperienced counsel can, and often does, land you in custody for days, months or even years while destroying your and your family’s future.
To educate yourself about the crimes listed above, follow the links or go directly to Crotty Saland PC’sblogs at newyorkcriminallawyer-blog.com and NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com as well as our sister website at NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com.
Don’t compromise your defense or future. Educate yourself on the law and contact our New York Embezzlement defense lawyers today.
Call the New York City Embezzlement lawyers and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.