Grand Larceny by Extortion: PL 155.30(6) and 155.40(2)

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Defending those accused of Extortion and helping victims of Blackmail , the criminal lawyers and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys at Crotty Saland PC have both prosecuted and represented individuals in circumstances that would seem unfathomable but for the fact that these individuals find themselves immersed in terrifying situations. Whether you are an alleged perpetrator or target of an extortive act or act, Blackmail and Extortion is codified as Grand Larceny and a singular crime pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.05(2)(e). As your counsel will advise, accusations routinely involve other wrongful conduct including Stalking, Coercion, Aggravated Harassment, Revenge Porn and more, but the main or central foundational offenses are eitherNew York Penal Law 155.30(6) or New York Penal Law 155.40(2). Irrespective of which felony you face in court or find yourself being victimized by, the consequences to all parties are grave if mishandled. From “mere” humiliation to incarceration up to a minimum of four or even twenty-five years, securing the best legal advice to defend or protect yourself is critical.

Definition, Elements & Basics of PL 155.05(2)

Because there are numerous statutes and levels of offenses associated with Grand Larceny by Extortion, it is imperative to secure an understanding of the mandatory elements no matter which offense is the subject of an arrest, indictment or complaint.

A person illegally obtains property in this manner when he or she forces or persuades his or her target to deliver certain property, very often a sum of money, to himself, herself or to a third person. This is not merely an “ask,” but the extortee, under duress, agrees to do so because the threatener instills in him or her fear that if the property is not turned over, the extorter or someone else will do one or more of the following:

  • Inflict a legally defined “physical injury” to the extortee or another person
  • Damage the property of another person
  • Commit another crime
  • Accuse another person, not necessarily the extortee, of a crime or cause the commencement of criminal charges against him or her
  • Irrespective of its truthfulness, represent a secret or publicize as fact something that will subject another person to hatred, contempt or ridicule
  • Testify or provide information, or hold back the same, relating to another person’s legal defense or lawful claim
  • As a public servant, abuse his or her position and authority to adversely affect another person
  • Perform any other act that serves not materially benefit to the victimizer but which is calculated to harm another person materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.

Assuming one or more of these bulleted elements are satisfied, prosecutors, or your criminal lawyer should you as a victim wish to keep your matter out of law enforcement hands, can then pursue an arrest or indictment involving eitherNew York Penal Law 155.30(6) or New York Penal Law 155.40(2).

Definition, Penalties & Examples of PL 155.30(6) PL 155.40(2)

Depending on the conduct of the alleged abuser, there are different degrees of this theft offense that may be applicable. None of this, of course, precludes additional and potential more serious crimes from being pursued. Whether you are alleged to have blackmailed someone for $100, $1,000,000 or even for a brand-new Mercedes Benz, or you are the victim of the same conduct. One of these offenses will find its way into any potential criminal proceeding as long as the elements of PL 155.05(2) are satisfied.

Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree – New York Penal Law 155.30(6)

Definition and Elements: Simply put, regardless of the value of the property or money obtained, a person is guilty of this section when property is stolen or obtained through the above listed threats.

Penalty and Punishment: A class "E" felony, a conviction is punishable by up to four years in prison. However, depending on the value of the property sought, the felony can increase to a class “D,” “C,” or “B” with a sentence of as long as seven, fifteen or twenty-five years in prison respectively.

Example and Hypothetical: A former lover demands you pay $45,000 or he or she will email your wife that you have had multiple same sex relationships and advise your employer that you shared confidential client information with a competitor. Assuming you pay your harasser, he or she would have violated this section of the law as well as PL 155.35, a class “D” felony, because the value of the property, aka, money, surrendered was north of $3,000 but not more than $50,000. Even if you never paid, because there was an attempt to compel you, the chargeable crime would be one degree lower to a class “E” felony.

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree – New York Penal Law 155.40(2)

Definition and Elements: Regardless of the value, if you steal property while "threatening" a physical injury, damage to another's property or abuse of one's position as a public servant then you have violated this section of the Penal Law.

Penalty and Punishment: This type of theft is a class "C" felony punishable by up to fifteen years in state prison.

Example and Hypothetical: Whether it is ongoing or a one-time incident, if you demand $1,250,000 or you will have your target’s sibling killed, then you have likely committed this crime. Again, because the demand is in excess of $1,000,000, not only have you committed the class “C” felony here, but solely due to the value of the property you have also committed the class “B” felony punishable by as much as twenty-five years in jail. Just like other offenses, even if the money is not delivered, if you attempt was legally sufficient, then you could still be charged with a degree lower of both of these offenses dropping the class “C” felony” to a class “D” and the class “B” felony to a class “C.”

Your Case & Your Future

Whether you are accused of, arrested for, or charged with a Grand Larceny crime in New York City or the Hudson Valley where the theory of the allegation is that you attempted to commit or in fact perpetrated an Extortion or Blackmail, the direct and collateral consequences are frightening. Similarly, if you are the target of a victimizer’s threats and attempts to unjustly enrich themselves by manipulating your fears and duress, it can be all consuming and emotionally debilitating.

Regardless of what side of the law you find yourself, the criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC have successfully represented clients on both sides of the justice system. From preventing indictments and felony convictions to shutting down an abuser with or without the assistance of law enforcement, Crotty Saland PC will answer your questions, examine every legal angle and take the steps to best provide you with the defense or closure that you need.

Call the Blackmail and Extortion defense team (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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