NY “white collar” criminal defense attorneys often have the chips stacked against them when their clients are alleged to be involved in a criminal case where a scheme alleging Forgery, Grand Larceny and Falsifying Business Records transpired over a period of years. Obviously, unlike the prosecution, when a client is first arrested or indicted on a long term investigation, criminal defense lawyers may not be privy to the extent of investigation that has taken place, the witness who have given statements or the records that have been subpoenaed. What makes a case even more “interesting” is when the alleged criminal actions occurred years ago. It is imperative that upon being retained, any criminal defense attorney immediately begins to conduct his or her own investigation starting with a lengthy and open conversation with the client. As former Manhattan prosecutors, the criminal defense attorney’s at Crotty Saland PC can’t stress enough how important this is and how it has helped our clients charged in these schemes.
A case directly on point was just announced today by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. According to the Robert Morgenthau’s Office, Lawrence Salander, an art dealer, has been indicted on multiple charges of Grand Larceny, Securities Fraud, Scheme to Defraud, Forgery, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Falsifying Business Records. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between July 1994 and November 2007. It is alleged that Salander stole from his victims by selling artwork not owned by him and keeping the money. Moreover, he is accused of luring investment money in fraudulent investment opportunities. If convicted of the top count in this indictment, Salander faces up to 8 and 1/3 to 25 years in state prison.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office:
“The fraud in each investment opportunity occurred when Salander did not own the work of art he offered for investment in whole or in part, or he misrepresented the actual terms of the investment. The misrepresented terms included: inflation of the purported cost (cost fraud), the sale of greater than 100 percent interest in a single work (oversale), the fabrication of the existence of the pre-sale (ghost investment), failure to pay the return when the money came in on the purported investment, or the misrepresentation of the amount payable to the investor (fraudulent retention).”
As noted above, Salander and his criminal defense attorney have a long and difficult road ahead of them. The sooner they ascertain the best approach to handling this case, identify what, if any, evidence can be challenged or is beneficial to Salander’s defense, and implement a course of action to defend his rights and liberty, the greater the likelihood for a positive result. Otherwise, Salander difficulties are just beginning.