Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree: NY PL 190.65

by ECL Writer
Tax Fraud And Tax Evasion In NY

If New York prosecutors detain or charge you with a First Degree Scheme to Defraud in accordance with New York Penal Code 190.65, it is likely that they have a strong conviction that your actions were not just a single criminal offense but rather a significant element of an ongoing fraud scheme. To be clear, it is highly possible that Plot to Defraud will be one of several offenses, accusations, and arrest charges you will face, whether you are accused alone or with other defendants.

Be ready to deal with a District Attorney’s Office and a New York court system that does not take kindly to allegations of widespread or multi-victim financial crimes as you and your criminal defense attorney work to identify any potential future offenses.

Understanding First Degree Scheme To Defraud

If you act in either of the following two ways, you have committed Plot to Defraud in the First Degree:

(a) You participate in an ongoing or systematic course of action. Your plan must be carried out with the intention of defrauding ten or more people or stealing their property. Additionally, you must really acquire property from at least one of these people and try to acquire the property under false pretenses or representations.

(b) You follow a pattern of behavior that is continuing or systematic. Your plan must be carried out with the intention of defrauding at least two people or stealing property from at least two persons. Additionally, you must make an effort to acquire the property using deceptive means and actually acquire at least one of these people’s properties, valued at more than $1,000.

Similar to the Second Degree Plot to Defraud Misdemeanor, the prosecution must identify at least one victim of your alleged illegal behavior.

Any conviction for a criminal offense can carry grave consequences. Even if you have never been in trouble with the law before, you might lose your professional licenses and certificates as well as spend up to four years in jail if you are found guilty of a first-degree scheme to defraud.

Collateral & Principle Crimes Associated With NY PL 190.65

It is uncommon for Scheme to Defraud to be the sole count in an arrest or indictment in New York, regardless of whether it is the primary action you are accused of committing or a collateral violation. After all, the allegation against you is based on the notion that you attempted to steal something or someone else. There are other offenses – and much more serious ones – that you may face, such as a Ponzi scheme, an apartment rent scam, a mortgage fraud scheme, or some other alleged acts.

This can be best understood if you think of the felony charge of Plot to Defraud as the method or means by which you are allegedly attempting to conduct larceny. The “end game,” as Assistant District Attorneys would likely say, is that you attempted to or actually stole someone else’s property or money, regardless of whether you committed a Burglary, Robbery, trespassory theft, or some other comparable violation. As a result, you could be charged with the following crimes:

  • Grand Larceny: NY PL Article 155
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: NY PL Article 165
  • Enterprise Corruption: NY PL Article 460.20
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument: NY PL Article 170
  • Forgery: NY PL Article 170
  • Falsifying Business Records: NY PL Article 175

The preceding offenses vary from “E” felonies to “B” felonies to emphasize the fact that the crimes you may be charged with are more serious than First Degree Scheme to Defraud. Your status as a first-time offender won’t matter much if the prosecution can show that you committed a “B” felony, such as grand larceny, criminal possession of the stolen property, or that you were part of an organized group that carried out the plot. You will be sentenced to state jail without exception, barring your criminal defense lawyer’s ability to raise a legal objection to the crimes or offer a mitigation of your behavior.

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