According to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, a scamming former stock broker managed to cheat and lie his way back into the 1% at the expense of fellow one percenters and on the backs of the 99% as well. While the arrest and indictment of Boris Shteyngart will likely not stop the #OWS from disrupting lower Manhattan on Thursday, it may send a strong message to would be thieves in Kings County. It is alleged in a multi-count indictment that Shteyngart defrauded a dentist from the “Show Me State” out of $142,000 and an 84 year old retiree out of $10,00 which consisted of a significant portion of the latter’s life savings. All of this, according to Brooklyn prosecutors, was stolen and used to support Shteyngart’s lifestyle.
DA Hynes claims that Shteyngart perpetrated his criminal scheme by “cold calling” potential investors. At some point after his alleged victims began to trust him, Shteyngart would convince these “investors” to send him money by wire transfer or check payable to “Bori.” Once he received these checks, prosecutors allege that Shteyngart merely added an “s” next to “Bori.” Not rocket science, “Bori” became “Boris” and Shteyngart was able to deposit the checks in his own account. In total, prosecutors believe the scheme netted the defendant approximately $200,000.
The indictment charges Shteyngart with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a “C” felony punishable by as much as five to fifteen years for a first time offender. Additionally, the indictment charges the defendant with the “D” felonies of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Forgery in the Second Degree. Both of these crimes are punishable by up to two and one third to seven years in state prison. An “E” felony, the indictment also charges Shteyngart with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. This offense is the least significant felony crime, but is still punishable by up to one and one third to four years in prison. Beyond these felonies, Shteyngart is also charged with Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree, an “A” misdemeanor.
Although the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office press release indicates that the defendant faces up to 40 years in state prison, such a sentence is far from likely. While many factors, including Shteyngart’s ability to pay back his victims, may mitigate his conduct, according to press coverage of the case, the defendant is not trying to mitigate his actions. In fact, his attorney has publicly denied the allegations and asserted that investigators rushed to judgment. For Shteyngart’s sake, I hope his attorney is right.
On an interesting side note, this indictment comes on the heals of another white collar bust in Manhattan where Cyrus Vance, Jr. announced the indictment of three men in a debit card skimming scheme that allegedly netted the accused nearly $300,000 from numerous victims. Both these indictments make it overwhelmingly clear that white collar, larceny and theft crimes are still thriving in New York and beyond.
To learn more about the crimes of Grand Larceny, and Forgery, please follow the highlighted links above to the Crotty Saland website. There you will not only find detailed information about these statutes, but links to the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com. The blog, another excellent source of information, contains analysis of criminal statutes, legal decisions further defining those crimes, and cases that have played out in the New York City news. Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, the New York criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC represent those accused of white collar crimes throughout the New York City region.
Additional resources for New York larceny crimes can be found at the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com website and NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com going “live” in the next couple of weeks.