Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a New York theft case, affirming a defendant’s conviction for grand larceny in the third degree which is a class “D” felony under New York law and is punishable by up to 7 years in prison. The case presents a good illustration of the type of evidence necessary to sustain a New York larceny conviction.
According to the court’s opinion, the defendant opened a bank account in his name. To do so, he provided two forms of identification, as well as all his personal information. The next day a person known to the defendant then deposited in the defendant’s account the amount of $11,340. To facilitate the deposit, the defendant provided the other person with his debit card and its PIN. The subsequent day, the defendant made a series of withdrawals through several branches and locations, totaling $11,000. Each of these withdrawals was below the monetary limit that would require further investigation by the bank. The defendant could be seen on video making two of the withdrawals. The $11,340 check ultimately turned out to be fraudulent.
The defendant was charged with grand larceny in the third degree, based on the “three-day scheme by which he arranged the deposit of a forged check—into an account apparently created for the sole purpose of housing the stolen funds—and then immediately withdrew the proceeds.”
In New York, theft is referred to as larceny. The seriousness of a larceny offense is based primarily on the amount or type of property at issue. Thus, grand larceny of the third degree requires the prosecution prove that the defendant stole property valued at more than $3,000, or “the property is an automated teller machine or the contents of an automated teller machine.”
Here, the amount in question was indisputably above the $3,000 limit. Thus, the only question was whether the evidence was sufficient to find that the defendant engaged in a scheme to commit larceny. The court concluded that it was, rejecting the defendant’s argument that the act of larceny was committed and completed by his friend alone and that therefore he could not be guilty or larceny. The court explained that the entire process of opening the bank account, making the deposit, and then making the withdrawals, all took place over a three-day period with “no clear break, prolonged lapse of time, or other intervening circumstance between the theft of the check and defendant’s subsequent withdrawals.” Here, the court held, the evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant was involved in a conspiracy to commit larceny. Thus, the court affirmed his conviction.
Have You Been Arrested for a New York Crime?
If you have recently been arrested for New York identity theft, or any other type of theft crime, contact the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Tilem & Associates. At our New York criminal defense firm, we represent clients who face all types of serious allegations, including drug charges, weapons offenses, and violent crimes. Our aggressive attorneys are skilled at both negotiation and litigation, providing our clients with the zealous representation they deserve. We stand behind our clients, regardless of the charges they face. To learn more, call 877-377-8666 to schedule a free consultation today.