Jack Chang, a tax preparer who currently is charged in Manhattan with Grand Larceny for his alleged tax fraud scheme, was arrested for threatening the life of Gilda Mariani, the Assistant District Attorney who is handling his case and who is also the top prosecutor in the Tax Crime and Money Laundering Unit. According to at least one report, Mr. Chang had sent letters to the prosecutor depicting a tombstone and stated that he had a 9mm handgun and that he was insane. Moreover, he is alleged to have said that he would shoot the prosecutor once for each year he served in prison.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, a search warrant at the defendant’s house revealed a computer printout of Assistant District Attorney’s Mariani’s biography, as well as another threatening letter directed towards her. The letter stated, in pertinent part, “You will be captured and before you are sent to hell you will taste hell on earth.”
Mr. Chang, who was previously convicted of Grand Larceny in the 1990s, now faces not only the new Grand Larceny and Scheme to Defraud indictment, but he faces additional charges of Coercion in the First Degree, Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance in the Second Degree, Stalking and Aggravated Harassment. Although Stalking and Aggravated Harassment are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, Coercion is a “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and Placing a False Bomb is an “E” felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
Because of the nature of the threats, it is likely that both the District Attorney’s Office and the courts will take a hard line in the event the defendant is convicted of these crimes. Moreover, the newest arrest can potentially run consecutive to the defendant’s recent arrest for Grand Larceny.
If it is not overwhelmingly clear, Mr. Chang’s alleged actions are clearly the worst way one could challenge the prosecution or fight for one’s rights. As a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office I can assert without any hesitation that threatening a witness, victim, judge or prosecutor is rightfully viewed by law enforcement as one of the most heinous crimes. Nothing good can come of these type of threats.
If you are being investigated or you have been arrested or indicted, the absolute best way to resolve a case is to retain experienced criminal counsel. A criminal defense attorney who is versed and skilled in criminal law will advocate for your rights and hold the prosecution to their burden without compromising any ethical standard or your integrity. Whether you are victorious in the defense of your freedom and liberty will require you to work alongside your criminal defense attorney and allow him or her to zealously defend you.