According to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, Yves Archin, a home health aide working for a 79 year old woman who recently passed away, was arrested by Ardsley (Westchester County) detectives. It is alleged that Ms. Arching perpetrated Identity Theft and other crimes on an unwitting woman under her care who had suffered from a stroke. According to news sources, Ms. Archin not only used the now deceased woman’s credit cards, but opened up fraudulent accounts using her personal information. As a result, it is alleged that Ms. Archin charged approximately $59,000 at stores including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Target.
According to various news websites, the defendant is charged with Identity Theft in the First Degree (NY PL 190.80). Moreover, Ms. Archin is charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (NY 155.40) for the aggregation of her alleged thefts that exceeded $50,000 and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (NY PL 190.65(1)(c). Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is a “C” felony punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in state prison. Identity Theft in the First Degree is a “D” felony punishable by up to 2 and 2/3 to 7 years in state prison while Scheme to Defraud is an “E” felony punishable by up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.
It is interesting to note that the Scheme to Defraud statute was amended in 2008 to include the defrauding of one or more “vulnerable elderly person.” According to New York Penal Law 260.30(3) a “vulnerable elderly person” means:
“[A] person sixty years of age or older who is suffering from a disease or infirmity associated with advanced age and manifested by demonstrable physical, mental or emotional dysfunction to the extent that the person is incapable of adequately providing for his or her own health or personal care.”
While I have not seen the complaint or indictment (if in fact she has been indicted), something is missing from the various reports. Regardless of the subsection, Scheme to Defraud requires that a defendant have the intent to defraud either ten or more people or more than one person. Although only one person need to be identified, at least two people need to be the target of the scheme. It may be that there is another alleged victim or target or that there is an error in the reporting of this offense or charging of this crime by law enforcement. Unfortunately for Ms. Archin, this potential error would only apply to the Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, the lowest level offense she is facing.
Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Crotty Saland PC is a criminal defense firm representing clients throughout the New York City region. Jeremy Saland, one of our attorneys, has extensive experience and training in Identity Theft related crimes having served in the Identity Theft Unit and Major Case Section upon its creation by Robert Morgenthau.