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Grand Larceny by Embezzlement & Value

NY Embezzlement Crimes: Valuation, Sentences and Punishment

New York Prosecutors and judges are not sympathetic to White Collar criminals accused of Grand Larceny whether it is in the Third Degree in Brooklyn, Second Degree in Rockland or First Degree in Manhattan, Penal Law sections 155.35, 155.40 and 155.42 respectively. In fact, should you find yourself indicted for any of these criminal violations due an allegation of Embezzlement, the penalties, punishment and sentences can be quite severe and are directly tied to the value of the property you allegedly stole. Simply, both you and your defense counsel will have your respective hands full.

Step One: Defining Embezzlement

Unlike other larceny crimes, Embezzlement solely deals with the improper taking of money or funds from a company, employer or similar person or organization who has a superior right of possession than you. Whether you are accused of stealing cash, wrongfully using a corporate credit card, syphoning money from business transactions or some other illegal conduct, once this knowing and wrongful taking of dollars exceeds $1,000.00, the lowest level class “E” felony, expect to find yourself the potential target and subject of a felony arrest.

Step Two: Determining Value to Ascertain the Degree of Grand Larceny

Thefts prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys in New York City’s boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens as well as the surrounding suburbs of Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, and Putnam deal with larceny crimes based in a few different theories. These include wrongful taking based on the type of nature of the property stolen, the means by which the property was illegally secured and, as in cases of Embezzlement, the collective value of the ill-gotten gains.

Step Three: Identifying the Crime to Ascertain the Penalty and Punishment

Before setting forth each of the applicable statutes that dictate the nexus between these crimes and the element of value, it is important to note the following. Where the property allegedly stolen is money or cash, an amount is obviously easy to establish. However, where the price of the property is unclear, worth is established by determining replacement or present value. Because there are numerous legal decisions addressing this issue, when the item or items in question do not have a clear price or cost, consult with a criminal defense lawyer familiar with these decisions in New York and review PL 155.20, the valuation statute. Fortunately, in the realm of the crimes addressed here, it is generally the amount of money unlawfully “pocketed that is used for calculation and charge purposes. The following reflects this theory of value along with the related criminal charge and potential penalty and punishment:

Penal Law 155.42: Grand Larceny in the First Degree

Theft of property in any form over $1 million is a class "B" felony punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.

Penal Law 155.40(1): Grand Larceny in the Second Degree

Stealing anything valued over $50,000.00 is a class "C" felony punishable by up to fifteen years in state prison. This particular subsection is a common charge where an accused is alleged to have embezzled money from an employer or misappropriated funds. Any theft above $50,000.00, but less than $1 million falls into this category.

Penal Law 155.35: Grand Larceny in the Third Degree

Theft of monies, of any item in any form, over $3,000.00 is a class "D" felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison as long as the illegal taking does not exceed $50,000.00. This offense is also a common crime charged in White Collar schemes or other misappropriation of business or personal assets.

Penal Law 155.30(1): Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree

Theft of property, regardless of the type, valued over $1,000.00 is a class "E" felony punishable by up to four years in state prison.

Again, whether you are accused of embezzling monies in the form of wire transfers, an “old school” cash grab or you are arrested for a theft of tangible property such as a computer or jewelry, the amount or value of that property is the determining factor as to the degree of the crime you will face and associated penalty, punishment and sentence.

Step Four: Identifying the Best Defense to Challenge Your Arrest or Indictment

Once you have identified the appropriate degree, your analysis should immediately turn to ascertaining the strongest defense. Are there multiple victims or are prosecutors aggregating the value of the larcenies over time to increase your exposure to a higher-level offense? Have you unwittingly admitted to the thefts either by way of an apology to an owner, an offer to repay or statement to law enforcement? Are you charged with other crimes associated with Grand Larceny including any misdemeanor or felony degree of Forgery, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument or Falsifying Business Records? Simply. Irrespective of the charges, did you have had permission to access and withdraw the monies in question and, if not, how is the prosecution going to ultimately prove that you stole the funds in question beyond a reasonable doubt?

If you are a being investigated for a White Collar crime or you have already been arrested for Grand Larceny, contact the criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law who have the experience, knowledge and dedication to protect your rights, liberty and integrity.

Call the New York Embezzlement lawyers and criminal defense attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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