Fraud Penalties in New York

The most common penalties for fraud in New York are associated with grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, forgery, falsifying business records, and identity theft. Such crimes range from misdemeanors to felony crimes.

To determine the penalties that may be present in your fraud charge, it is important to contact a New York fraud lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help an individual understand such penalties, and assist in minimizing any potential consequences.

Initial Penalties

If it is a misdemeanor offense, the fraud penalty in New York City is up to a year in jail.

If it is a Class E felony, such as grand larceny in the fourth degree for a theft in excess of $1,000 but not greater than $3,000, or identity theft where the loss is more than $500 but not in excess of $2,000, then those crimes are punishable by between one and a third to four years in prison.

Possessing a Fake Check

If a person altered a check or the person possesses a fake check, those are Class D felonies for the forgery in the second degree or the criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree.

Those crimes are punishable by between two and a third to seven years in prison. If the identity theft is in excess of $2,000, which is as simple as using an account or signing someone’s name on a check, that would be classified as a Class D felony. This qualifies an individual to serve between two and a third to seven years in prison.

Even if the person does not steal up to $2,000 or $1,000, it does not make a difference. If the person has a fake or fraudulent check, then that automatically is a forged instrument and that is a Class D felony identity theft as well.

Identity Theft

If the person is committing any identity theft in conjunction with the D felony or an E felony, the person is also committing an E felony or D felony identity theft. If it is a grand larceny charge of over $3,000 but not greater than $50,000, it is also a Class D felony.

All of these crimes are D and E felonies. If that person uses that check, whether it is at a bank, a cashed check, or from the person’s employer, and they are embezzling these checks, the person is looking at a much more serious crime, and much harsher penalties associated with their New York City fraud charge.

If the amount is more than $50,000 but less than a million, it is a C felony, which is punishable by between five and 15 years in prison.

If the amount exceeds $1,000,000 in a fraud based on check scams, it is a New York fraud penalty of between eight and a third to 25 years in prison.

Falsifying Business Records

If the person is also falsifying business records in the process at a business, that is an E felony with penalties of between one and a third to four years.

It is important to recognize that when the dollar amount is used as a means to figure out what the total punishment should be, the law allows prosecutors to aggregate, meaning to add up all the transactions together. This process can make the penalties associated with a New York fraud charge much more serious.

Therefore, if the person stole from their employer, falsified checks, and embezzled, each check from the employer will be added up to make the total.

Obtaining a Plea Deal

Whether an individual can obtain a plea deal is incumbent on the accused individual’s ability to challenge the evidence that is against the person. It is critical that the individual can challenge many elements of the case, such as:

  • Evidence
  • Search warrants
  • Why the person was arrested
  • Admissions the person has made
  • Any evidence that was recovered from the person
  • Who the person is, and why the prosecution should care
  • Why they should give the individual the benefit of the doubt
  • Why the individual should be given a deal at all
  • If the person has the ability to pay back the person who has been frauded

Further, the court will consider how long the person was committing the crime for, such as if it was a one-time incident or if the person has been doing this over the course of a few years. These are all questions that must be considered when an individual is pursuing a plea deal.

An individual should be sure that they hire an experienced attorney who has handled these types of cases before in order to help ensure the possibility of a plea deal.

Long-Term Consequences

Even the smallest crimes relating to fraud are going to risk an individual’s personal licenses and certifications. These are considered aggravated felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude for immigration purposes.

If the person is a member of the bar as an attorney, or if they are a teacher, nurse, doctor, or college student, a fraud conviction can derail a person’s career. Future employers may be hesitant to hire a person with a pending fraud charge, especially in a position of trust. Because of the severe penalties associated with fraud in New York City, it is crucial that an individual fight these charges accordingly.

Credit card theft is not just possessing a fake credit card, but also stealing a credit card or possessing a stolen credit card. It is automatically an E felony punishable by between one and a third to four years in prison.

Under the law, the person does not have to know that they stole a credit card to be charged with and convicted of criminal possession of stolen property or grand larceny of a credit card.

Contact Us
Available 24/7 | 212.312.7129