New York Fraud Lawyer

Jeffrey LichtmanThe offenses under New York Penal Code for fraud are varied. They can range from offenses involving forgery and falsifying business records to insurance fraud and bribery. Regardless of the exact nature of the charges, New York takes fraud very seriously.

With penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, conviction under many of these statutes may involve a jail sentence. A New York fraud lawyer will work with clients who have been accused of fraud to defend their rights in court and protect their reputations. Contact a qualified attorney who can advocate for you.

Fraud Laws in New York

When people think of fraud, they may imagine a large-scale system designed to scam hundreds of people out of their money. While massive Ponzi schemes such as these do exist, far more common are these examples of fraud:

Forgery

Forgery is defined as when a person, with the intent to defraud or deceive another, falsely makes, completes, or alters a written instrument that is purported to be an official document. Exactly what this official document is supposed to be determines the severity of the fraud charge. While falsifying a stock certificate is Forgery in the 1st degree, a Class C felony, altering a will is Forgery in the 2nd degree a Class D felony.

Falsifying Business Records

Under New York Penal Code § 175.05, A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the second degree when, with intent to defraud, they:

  • Make or cause a false entry in the business records of an enterprise
  • Alter, erase, obliterate, delete, remove or destroy a true entry in the business records of an enterprise
  • Omit to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a duty to do so which they know to be imposed upon them by law or by the nature of their position
  • Prevent the making of a true entry or cause the omission thereof in the business records of an enterprise
  • This is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor. If the falsification was done as a step in the commission of another crime, the charge will be Falsifying business records in the 1st degree, a class E felony.

    Issuing a Bad Check

    Issuing a bad check is classified as a class B misdemeanor under New York Penal Code § 190.05. In short, this is defined as when a person writes a check while knowing that there are insufficient funds in the attached account to cover the amount listed.

    Civil vs. Criminal Actions

    While fraud is certainly a cause for concern in the criminal courts, people accused of fraud often face civil liability as well. These cases are considered entirely separately and just because a person is charged with fraud by the police, does not mean that a civil case will follow. The inverse is also true.

    Additionally, if a person is found guilty by the criminal court of fraud, it is not necessarily true that the civil case will come out the same way. A New York fraud lawyer can help clients to further understand the differences between criminal and civil fraud, and to defend themselves accordingly.

    Potential Defenses

    A large portion of fraud crimes rely on the prosecution demonstrating to the jury that the defendant intended to defraud another person.  Therefore, a defendant’s argument that they did not know that they were committing fraud can certainly hold water. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to demonstrate your knowledge of your actions.

    Let a New York Fraud Attorney Assist You Today

    If a person is accused of a crime that is considered to be fraud, they may be scared and confused. A New York fraud lawyer can be an invaluable asset during this difficult time.

    New York fraud lawyers work with clients to better understand the nature of the charges being brought against them, to formulate an effective defense and protect their liberty.

    From arraignment, to pre-trial hearings, to a potential trial, a lawyer will be with you every step of the way. Do not take any unnecessary chances, contact an attorney today.