Robin Katz, a money adviser at JP Morgan Chase, pleaded guilty earlier today to Grand Larceny after admitting she stole over $100,000 from a client. According to reports, her scheme involved creating an ATM card for the client’s account without his knowledge. At her sentencing, Ms. Katz will receive 5 years probation and be required to pay back her ill gotten gains by a specified date.
As a former Manhattan prosecutor who served under Robert Morgenthau in the same office that prosecuted Ms. Katz, I handled Fraud and Grand Larceny cases well into the multiple millions of dollars. As a criminal defense attorney I have represented clients in Grand Larceny crimes ranging from the tens of thousands of dollars to multiple millions of dollars. Even though I have handled cases on each side of the law, every case requires a unique defense. It is likely that the “paper trail” of evidence was overwhelming in Katz’s case and her approach to the case was to try to mitigate her crime. Was Ms. Katz dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues at the time she perpetrated the crime? Did Ms. Katz show remorse for her actions? What was her ability to repay back the victim and was he “on board” with the plea? All of these issues, and many more, were likely addressed and presented favorably to the District Attorney’s Office.
Certainly, we do not know what transpired between the defense attorney and the prosecution, but it is not likely in this set of facts that the defendant “challenged” the prosecution to go forward with the case while Ms. Katz insisted on her innocence. Instead, it is likely that Ms. Katz did quite the opposite by presenting every reason why she should be afforded leniency.
As I have stated numerous times in my entries, sometimes our clients benefit when we fight with “vinegar” and other times we get tremendous results with “honey.” Regardless of our approach, over the past year we have obtained, among many other dispositions, an ACD (dismissal after 6 months) on a Grand Larceny case of $20,000 and a misdemeanor on a Grand Larceny theft involving $25,000. Moreover, two other clients received conditional discharges (no jail or probation) on two Grand Larcenies involving $5,000,000 and $52,000 respectively. Recently, another client had his case “dropped” by prosecutors after he had been investigated for tax fraud in the tens of millions of dollars.
Although the above results avoided criminal records and / or jail for each of our clients, each case is unique, and as noted, requires its own analysis to ascertain the appropriate defense. After all, what might work in one case could hinder your defense in another. Whatever her tactic, however, Robin Katz will remain a free woman and a woman who will be able to move past this terrible incident. Crotty Saland PC is a white collar criminal defense firm located in New York. Founded by former prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Crotty Saland PC represents clients throughout all stages of the criminal process.
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