Crotty Saland PC, a Manhattan based white collar criminal defense firm representing clients throughout the New York City region, is pleased to announce another tremendous result for a client in the arena of fraud and theft allegations. Our client, charged on two separate dockets, allegedly defrauded approximately $35,000 from one individual and approximately $35,000 from a second individual. Prosecutors charged our client with twenty-five felonies in the two criminal court complaints including Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (NY PL 155.35), Forgery in the Second Degree (NY PL 170.10), Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (NY PL 170.25) and Identity Theft in the First Degree (NY PL 190.80). Prosecutors alleged that our client stole these monies through drafting checks without permission and using credit cards, including a corporate business card, without authority to do so. Despite the large value of the alleged theft, approximately $70,000 between two people, Crotty Saland PC attacked the veracity of one of the complainants as well the length of time between the incident and the reporting of the theft. Moreover, investigation revealed that this complainant may have been trying to “hide” money from his spouse. After further investigation and challenging the prosecution regarding their ability to prove the $35,000 theft beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors dismissed all of the charges. Although we were not as successful with the second felony case as we were with the first case, Crotty Saland PC negotiated a tremendous disposition on the second matter as well. In the second case, prosecutors agreed to a misdemeanor plea for Petit Larceny (the “shoplifting” statute) as well as Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Although the complainant and prosecutors presented us with documentation for a significant portion of the $35,000 as well as a signed stipulation by our client that she in fact owed these monies, we successfully argued that despite the admission and documentation, the facts of the case would establish that the complainant was not being forthright. Even if true, the value of the alleged loss was exaggerated and our client signed the agreement under duress. Fortunately, through our investigation and diligence, we were able to corroborate our position thereby weakening the ability of the prosecution to prove the theft and the loss amount beyond a reasonable doubt. After all of our efforts working with our client for over a year to avoid a felony or jail, the court sentenced our client on the misdemeanor plea to three years of probation (no jail) and $20,000 in total restitution. As this client learned, each case is unique and requires its own analysis and defense. Whether it takes one month or one year, some felony fraud cases can be negotiated to a lesser offense while others ultimately may not. Furthermore, some cases may require a trial to prove one’s innocence where a real risk may be present of a conviction and accompanying jail. Whatever result you are seeking and whether or not it is actually attainable, it is imperative that your counsel be a knowledgeable and a zealous advocate who keeps you informed throughout the process as it unfolds.