Enterprise Corruption: NY Penal Law 460.20

Enterprise Corruption is one of the strongest tools in a prosecutor's arsenal and one of the most serious White Collar crimes on the proverbial books. A class "B" felony carrying a mandatory minimum term of incarceration, Enterprise Corruption, pursuant to Penal Law 460.20, is New York’s version of the Federal Government’s RICO statute. Whether you are prosecuted by the District Attorney of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or just north of the City in Westchester or Rockland County, an arrest or indictment for this offense is one that routinely requires an “all hands on deck” approach between you and your counsel. Likely the top account charged in any fraud related arrest, even if there are other offenses that are equally debilitating, understanding the criminal code and retaining the best criminal lawyer to represent your interests is of the greatest import. Coupled with the right counsel, breaking down the case and putting your strategy into motion can make the difference between long term incarceration and mitigation or exoneration..

Definition and Elements

Having briefly addressed the potentially devastating impact of an accusation involving New York Penal Law 460.20, the following defines the offense while explaining the criminal elements.

You are guilty of Enterprise Corruption when you are knowingly involved in and associated with an enterprise or "organization" that you know to be criminal in its design, scheme, purpose and foundation. Additionally, more than being aware, you must also participate in the activities and of the organization or enterprise as it relates to criminal conduct. Even if you are not actively involved in the wrongdoing, the long arm of the criminal code can still pull you into the scheme if you invest proceeds in in the alleged criminal enterprise or you have an interest in the same.

Again, because this class “B” felony is a complex statute associated with other felony offenses and illegal activity, the above definition is merely for general guidance and by no means a recitation of the law. For example, not addressed, even if law enforcement can prove the above elements beyond a reasonable doubt, did the criminal enterprise have an ascertainable structure as mandated by law? At bottom, with the amount of questions that you must ask, evidence that you must secure, and all that is at risk, if you are charged with or being investigated for violating NY PL 460.20, failure to vet the alleged evidence and challenge the sufficiency of an indictment will unquestionably have dire ramifications.

Penalty and Punishment

Because it is a class “B” felony, a conviction for this offense will unquestionably land you in prison. This is not a “maybe” proposition but an unavoidable consequence barring an acquittal or a prosecutor’s reduction. In fact, whether you submit fifteen character letters, volunteered 100s of hours a year and you are a den leader for the local Cub Scouts, a judge must sentence you to a minimum of one to three years in prison. If he or she so chooses, the court can also sentence you to as much as eight and one third to twenty-five years in the custody of the NYS Department of Correction.

Example and Hypothetical

An easy to understand scenario involving Penal Law 460.20 might occur where an illegal gambling operation is run by a “boss” who has two “lieutenants.” These two individuals follow the boss’ instructions and manage a half a dozen men and women who find bettors, take money and pay out winnings. The structure is vertical with specific roles. The boss runs the show and maybe handicaps the games, he in turn tells the two underlings what he wants to see happen and how, and they then instruct the six runners. All sharing in the objective to perpetrate an illegal gambling scheme to make money. On its face, unlike a lose knit crew of scammers acting independently, each of these RICO members would likely have run afoul of Enterprise Corruption.

Associated Crimes and Penal Law Offenses

Rarely a sole count on an indictment or felony arrest, Enterprise Corruption is often the top count and criminal charge among other lesser, but quite serious crimes. In fact, investigations, arrests and indictments involving this felony routinely include charges of Grand Larceny, Promoting Gambling, Prostitution, Mortgage Fraud, Healthcare Fraud and Insurance Fraud.

Your Case, Your Defense and Your Future

When confronted with a knock at the door by the NYPD, the click of handcuffs on your wrists by the State or County Police, the execution of search warrants on your banks accounts by the by prosecutors, and freezing of your assets by an arm of law enforcement, you have few options other than to stand up to adversity, advocate for your rights, and implement the right defense to minimize your immediate and long term criminal exposure. When so much is in jeopardy, know that the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC possess the knowledge and are armed with the experience to put you in the best position to overcome your frightening predicament. Be smart and get the help you need today before you live out your regret behind the cold steel bars of a jail cell.

Call Our New York Enterprise Corruption Lawyers and Former Manhattan Prosecutor at (212) 312-7129 or Contact Us Online Today.

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