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New York laws on larceny and embezzlement

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2022 | White Collar Crime

New York residents facing charges of larceny and embezzlement can feel as though their world is upside down. These charges are very serious and carry hefty penalties.

What are larceny and embezzlement?

Larceny is a white-collar crime that involves stealing another person’s property. When the property holds a value greater than $1,000, the crime is considered grand larceny. A person can be found guilty of grand larceny if they steal property worth more than $1,000 that belongs to someone else with the intention of permanently depriving that person of having the property. In the case of embezzlement, it means that the person had permission to use the property by the owner, who trusted them. Specifically, this offense is known as larceny by embezzlement.

What are the penalties for larceny and embezzlement?

Larceny and embezzlement is classified as a Class E felony when the property stolen has a value ranging from $1,000 to $2,999. For a conviction, the individual could face a maximum of four years in prison.

If the value of the property is between $3,000 and $4,999, the crime is classified as a Class D felony, which carries up to seven years in prison.

A Class C felony carries up to 15 years in prison. A person can be convicted of this charge if the stolen property has a value ranging from $50,000 to $999,999.

The most severe penalties come with a conviction of grand larceny in the first degree. The property involved has a value of at least $1 million. Penalties include a prison term of up to 25 years.

Common defenses for larceny and embezzlement

There are two key defenses to larceny and embezzlement charges. One is to argue that the property was given to the defendant, who thought they had the property in good faith. In other words, the defendant would have to believe that the property was given to them for them by the owner to keep.

Entrapment is a common defense as well. The defendant can argue that another party forced them to commit the crime when they would otherwise never have committed it. This defense is often used when the police are involved and the defendant had fear of not performing a certain act ordered of them by the police.

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