Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device (New York Penal Law 170.40): Criminalizing Equipment to Perpetrate Fraud

The crimes of Forgery (NY Penal Law 170.50, 170.10 and 170.15) and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument (NY Penal Law 170.20, 170.25 and 170.30) are crimes that White Collar criminal defense attorneys handle or deal with on a regular basis. Whether the facts revolve around counterfeit money, falsified mortgages or even fake credit cards, somewhere prior to committing the Forgery or Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, the item in question had to have been created. Although the police usually only get their hands on the finished product, i.e., the fake credit card, there is a distinct and separate crime of Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices that relates directly to the creation of these fraudulent items.

According to Penal Law 170.40, Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device, a person is guilty of this crime when (1) he makes or possesses with knowledge of its character any plate, die or other device, apparatus, equipment, or article specifically designed for use in counterfeiting or otherwise forging written instruments; or (2) with intent to use,or to aid or permit another to use, the same for purposes of forgery, he makes or possesses any device, apparatus, equipment or article capable of or adaptable to such use. This crime is a “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison.

As stated above, this offense is far less common than the crimes of Forgery or Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, but is potentially the same level offense. Regardless of the particular Forgery or Fraud related crime you find yourself being charged with or investigated for, contact the criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC so you can arm yourself with our experience and knowledge while protecting your liberty and integrity.

Updated: