District Attorneys and prosecutors through New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island – routinely utilize their “long arms” to attack criminal schemes and grab targets of crime well beyond the borders of Gotham. Often times, New York criminal lawyers represent those accused of frauds and criminal transactions even though they never set foot in New York. Whether the crime is Enterprise Corruption, Grand Larceny or Money Laundering, theses defendants are prosecuted as if they had perpetrated their conduct right here in New York.
Beyond the crimes listed above, one of the more common crimes prosecuted beyond the borders of New York are crimes involving gambling. Of these gambling crimes, the felony of Promoting Gambling in the First Degree (NY PL 225.10) is one of the most typical. Generally, you are guilty of Promoting Gambling in the First Degree when you profit or knowingly advance from unlawful gambling activity. In addition to these elements, you must also be involved in bookmaking where you receive more than five bets valued in excess of $5,000 over the course of any given day. Not only is NY PL 225.10 a felony, but it is punishable by up to four years in state prison.
One of the issues that can arise in a large scheme involving gambling crimes is that even if you did not specifically accept or receive the necessary level of bets, you may be charged with acting in concert with others who did so. In other words, the woman who resided and worked in Florida can be charged as an accomplice for the crime committed in New York if her activities, intent and efforts assisted her “partner” in committing a gambling crime.
While there is not guaranteed means by which to best defend against a criminal charge of Promoting Gambling, sometimes the best defense is a good offense. It could be that the prosecution lacks direct or circumstantial evidence against you. It could be that a search of an apartment was illegal even though records where recovered there. Maybe the $5,000 cannot be properly established. Alternatively, your best defense may not be challenging the evidence if it is overwhelming, but mitigating your conduct. Obviously, this mitigation and the extent of its value in helping your case is something that you and your counsel will ascertain.
Utilizing the former defensive approach of mitigation, the criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC pursued a successful strategy as a defense to a New York felony gambling arrest. Our client, a lessee of a Manhattan apartment, was allegedly permitting illegal and unauthorized poker games to take place in her apartment. Even though she was a player in the alleged games, it was further alleged that she, acting in concert with others including dealers, accepted in excess of five bets and $5,000 a day in proceeds. Armed with search warrants, the New York City Police Department shut down the “crew.” Although the sophistication and level of the scheme was a far cry from an offshore betting operation, our client was charged with felony Promoting Gambling in the First Degree as well as the misdemeanor crime of Possession of a Gambling Device (NY PL 225.30). In all, approximately a dozen people were arrested and charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Two unauthorized poker tables were shut down and proceeds were confiscated.
In face of a search warrant, an undercover police officer who posed as a “player,” the fact that our client was the lessee of the apartment and that at the time of the arrest the defendants were alleged to have been engaged in playing poker, the decision was made not to push the case to trial, but to work out a favorable disposition. Without going into detail here, the criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC were able to convince the prosecutors to offer our client an alternative plea. That is, our client pleaded to the misdemeanor level crime of Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree, followed conditions of her plea and then returned to court. Upon doing so, the prosecution and court permitted our client to vacate her misdemeanor plea and then the District Attorneys Office moved for an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). As a result,the case was both dismissed and sealed. Fortunately, our client, a business professional in the financial arena, was able to move forward with her life without a criminal record after being charged with a felony offense as part of an alleged illegal poker crew.
The above client’s case result is by no way a guarantee of future case results, but is illustrative of how easily your conduct can be wrapped up into a felony scheme. You need not be involved in organized crime overseas or running an illegal sports book in New Jersey. The long arm of the law has the ability to grab and prosecute almost anywhere.
For a wealth of information on Promoting Gambling and gambling related crimes in New York, please review either the Saland Law PC website or the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog. Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm representing the accused throughout the New York City region.