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White Collar Crime

White Collar Crimes in New York

White Collar Crimes

Racketeering

Racketeering refers to the operation of an illegal business or scheme, typically involving organized crime, that seeks to generate profit through illegal means. In New York State, racketeering activities are often prosecuted under the New York State Organized Crime Control Act, commonly known as the “RICO” (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.

Under the RICO Act, it is illegal to engage in a pattern of racketeering activity. Racketeering activity includes various crimes such as bribery, extortion, fraud, money laundering, gambling offenses, and drug trafficking, among others. To establish a pattern of racketeering activity, prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant engaged in at least two or more specified criminal acts within a ten-year period.

If convicted of racketeering in New York State, individuals can face severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, asset forfeiture, and restitution. The specific penalties will depend on the nature and severity of the racketeering activities involved, as well as the defendant’s criminal history.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is a criminal offense in New York State. It involves knowingly and intentionally engaging in deceptive practices to obtain benefits from an insurance company. These practices may include submitting false or exaggerated claims, providing misleading information, or staging accidents or events to collect insurance proceeds.

Under the New York State Penal Law and Insurance Law, insurance fraud is punishable by law. Offenders may face criminal charges, including fines, imprisonment, or both, depending on the severity of the offense. In addition, individuals found guilty of insurance fraud may be required to pay restitution to the insurance company or victims affected by their actions.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is a serious offense in New York State, punishable under both state and federal laws. It involves the unauthorized use or fraudulent acquisition of another person’s credit card information to make unauthorized purchases, obtain goods or services, or engage in other fraudulent activities.

In New York, credit card fraud falls under various criminal statutes, including but not limited to Penal Law Section 190.78 (criminal possession of stolen property), Penal Law Section 190.79 (identity theft), and Penal Law Section 190.80 (scheme to defraud). These statutes encompass a range of fraudulent activities associated with credit card misuse, such as stealing credit card information, creating counterfeit cards, using lost or stolen cards, or engaging in identity theft for financial gain.

Depending on the specific circumstances and the value of the fraud, credit card fraud offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Penalties may include fines, restitution, probation, or imprisonment. The severity of the charges and potential penalties may also be influenced by factors such as prior criminal history and the presence of aggravating circumstances.

Additionally, credit card fraud is subject to federal laws, such as the federal Credit Card Fraud Act and the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, which can result in federal charges and additional penalties.

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Embezzlement

Embezzlement refers to the fraudulent misappropriation or conversion of someone else’s property or funds by an individual who was entrusted with them. In New York, embezzlement is generally considered a form of larceny, which is the unlawful taking of another person’s property.

The New York Penal Law defines various degrees of larceny, and the specific charges for embezzlement will depend on the value of the misappropriated funds or property. Generally, the higher the value, the more severe the potential penalties.

For example, if the value of the embezzled funds or property exceeds $1 million, the offense could be classified as grand larceny in the first degree, a class B felony. If the value is between $3,000 and $1 million, it may be considered grand larceny in the second degree, a class C felony.

Campaign Finance Fraud

Campaign finance fraud refers to the illegal manipulation of funds or activities related to political campaigns. It involves knowingly and willfully engaging in deceptive practices to circumvent campaign finance laws and regulations. This may include accepting or giving contributions that exceed legal limits, disguising the true source of funds, misusing campaign funds for personal purposes, or failing to disclose required information. Violations of campaign finance laws can result in serious legal consequences, such as fines, imprisonment, or both, depending on the severity of the offense.

It’s important for individuals, candidates, and campaign organizations to understand and comply with the applicable campaign finance laws in their jurisdiction. Seeking legal advice from an attorney experienced in election law can help ensure compliance and prevent inadvertent violations that may lead to allegations of campaign finance fraud.

Money Laundering

In New York State, money laundering is a serious criminal offense that involves the process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money or assets to make them appear legitimate. The New York Penal Law, Article 470, contains provisions related to money laundering. Under these laws, it is illegal to knowingly conduct financial transactions involving proceeds from criminal activities, with the intention of promoting or furthering illegal activities or concealing the true source of the funds.

Money laundering charges in New York State can apply to various activities, such as structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements, conducting transactions with the proceeds of drug trafficking, fraud, or other criminal activities, and engaging in transactions to promote terrorist activities.

Penalties for money laundering convictions in New York State can vary depending on the severity of the offense. They may include substantial fines, forfeiture of assets, and imprisonment. Additionally, money laundering charges can lead to federal prosecution, as money laundering is also a federal offense.

Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual property (IP) theft refers to the unauthorized use, reproduction, or distribution of someone else’s intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. In New York State, there are several laws and statutes that protect intellectual property and address its theft.

Copyright Law: Copyright law protects original works of authorship, including literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic works. The Copyright Act grants the creator exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, and perform their work. In New York, copyright infringement is a violation of both state and federal law, and legal action can be taken against infringers.

Trademark Law: Trademarks are symbols, logos, or designs that identify and distinguish the source of goods or services. In New York, the Trademark Law protects registered trademarks from unauthorized use, counterfeiting, or dilution. Violations of trademark rights can result in legal consequences and financial damages.

Patent Law: Patents provide inventors with exclusive rights to their inventions for a limited period. In New York, patent infringement occurs when someone makes, uses, sells, or imports a patented invention without permission. Patents are primarily governed by federal law, and legal actions related to patent infringement are typically pursued in federal courts.

Trade Secret Law: Trade secrets refer to confidential and valuable business information, such as formulas, processes, customer lists, and marketing strategies. New York has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which provides legal protection against misappropriation or theft of trade secrets. The UTSA allows businesses to seek remedies and damages against individuals or entities that unlawfully obtain or disclose trade secrets.

If you have been accused of stealing someone’s intellectual property in New York, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney who can guide you through the specific legal requirements and potential defenses available to you under state and federal laws.

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