According to news reports, the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office has announced the indictment of Arthur Fisher, Jennifer Fisher and Christopher DeSanto, all of Ossining. A Grand Jury indicted the trio for Grand Larceny after they were alleged to have stolen in excess of $2,000,000 from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. More specifically, Both Fishers are now charged with Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a “B” felony punishable by a minimum of one to three years and a maximum of eight and one third to twenty five years in state prison. Mr. Fisher and Mr. DeSanto are also charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a “C” felony, punishable by no mandatory minimum term of incarceration, but a maximum of five to fifteen years. Additionally, the Grand Jury indicted Mr. Fisher with eight counts of Forgery in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. “D” felonies, these crimes are punishable with no mandatory term in prison but up to two and one third to seven years “upstate.” Although not charged, if the allegations are true it is likely that the Grand Jury could have easily voted a true bill (indictment) against these defendants for Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. This crime is an “E” felony punishable by up to one and one third to four years in state prison.
According to reports, C&R Construction Services, a fake company created by Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, was alleged to have completed construction related jobs at the college, but never did so. Instead, it is alleged that Mr. Fisher, a project manager at Vassar College, allowed fraudulent invoices to be submitted for jobs that were never done. In total, it is alleged that the Fishers were paid just shy of $2,000,000. Just like C&R Construction, it is further claimed that Mr. Fisher had another bogus company, Good Shepherd Construction, that was involved in a similar scheme netting in excess of over $350,000. Completing the trifecta, the indictment also accuses Mr. Fisher and Mr. DeSanto of allegedly submitting invoices for work that was not completed. As a result, Mr. DeSanto received in excess of $140,000. Although not a defense to the allegations if true, one must wonder or question the oversight, or lack thereof, at Vassar College that would allow someone to steal nearly $2,500,000.
Grand Larceny in the First Degree occurs when property, regardless of its nature, is stolen and is valued in excess of $1,000,000. Grand Larceny in the Second Degree occurs when property, regardless of its nature, is stolen and is valued in excess of $50,000, but $1,000,000 or less. It is important to note that where the victim is the same, values or separate thefts can be aggregated or combined to reach a higher number.
A wealth of additional information on the crimes of Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Forgery can be found on the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog or the Saland Law PC website. Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Saland Law PC, a New York criminal defense firm, represents those investigated, arrested and indicted for white collar crimes throughout the New York City region.