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Practice Areas

Falsifying Business Records

What is commonly known as Falsifying Business Records in the first degree falls under NY Penal Law §175.10. A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when they commit the crime of falsifying business records in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof. Falsifying business records in the first degree is a class E felony. This can also be charged as a second degree crime under NY penal law §175.05. Some of the elements of a second degree Falsifying Business Records include: makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise, alters, erases, deletes or removes or destroys a true entry in the business records of an enterprise, omits to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a duty to do so which he knows to be imposed upon him by law or by the nature of his position. Falsifying business records in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

When is Best Time to Act?:

Due to the lengthy nature of the investigations that can lead to an indictment it is important to seek legal advice from experienced counsel as soon as you become aware that you could potentially be subject of the investigation and/or are under threat of indictment. Contact our experienced NY criminal defense attorneys today at 844-227-1981.

Types of Charges:

Falsifying Business Records may encompass a number of charges such as Forgery, Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument.

Criminal Schemes:

Falsifying Business Records schemes range from acts committed by individuals engaged in illegal activity for self-enrichment through bribery, kickbacks and tax fraud.

Related Crimes:

Many crimes can be related to Falsifying Business Records include, but not limited to False Instrument for Filing, Criminal Tax Fraud, Commercial Bribe Receiving and Grand Larceny in the Second Degree.

Regulations/Legislation:

What is commonly known as Falsifying Business Records falls under New York Penal Laws §175.10 Falsifying business records in the first degree. A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when he commits the crime of falsifying business records in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof. §175.10 Falsifying business records in the first degree is a class E felony. A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the second degree when, with intent to defraud, he: 1. Makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise; or 2. Alters, erases, obliterates, deletes, removes or destroys a true entry in the business records of an enterprise; or 3. Omits to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a duty to do so which he knows to be imposed upon him by law or by the nature of his position; or 4. Prevents the making of a true entry or causes the omission thereof in the business records of an enterprise. §175.05 Falsifying business records in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Penalties & Punishment:

The length of imprisonment and/or fines may vary depending on the nature and circumstances of the offense, whether the offender was a second or persistent felony offender, and the offender’s criminal history. Class E felonies can result in imprisonment up to four years and/or a fixed fine not more than $5,000 or double the defendant’s gain from committing the offense. An offender may also face from 3 to 5 years on probation. Misdemeanor charges can also result in additional fines and jail time when related to felony charges.

Successful Defenses:

Some successful defenses to Falsifying Business Records include the defendant entering information incorrectly into a database at work, changing or deleting some old documents related to accounts receivable, changing some numbers around on some bills or receipts, with the intent to rectify it as soon as possible. An affirmative defense to Falsifying Business Records is that the defendant was a clerk, bookkeeper or other employee who, without personal benefit, merely executed the orders of his employer or of a superior officer or employee generally authorized to direct his activities. This type of defense falls under New York Penal Law §175.15 Affirmative Defense.

Differences between State & Federal Charges:

If the defendant falsifies business records and it affects interstate commerce, then charges may be filed under RICO statutes. Otherwise, the charges will only be filed under the laws of the state of New York. Penalties can include probation, fines and jail time. A more expansive view of the RICO statutes holds that in order to be found guilty of violating the RICO statute, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that an enterprise existed; (2) that the enterprise affected interstate commerce; (3) that the defendant was associated with or employed by the enterprise; (4) that the defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity; and (5) that the defendant conducted or participated in the conduct of the enterprise through that pattern of racketeering activity through the commission of at least two acts of racketeering activity as set forth in the indictment. Many white collar crimes are both federal and state offenses, and can be prosecuted by either or both New York and the federal government. Federal offenses will be prosecuted in New York’s federal district courts.

High Profile Cases:

High profile cases of Falsifying Business Records include the indictment of Donald Russo and Bar Electrical Consulting, Inc. (“Bar Electrical”), for engaging in a bribery scheme that steered millions of dollars of Unity Electric Company (“Unity”) business to various electrical supply companies. Russo and Bar Electrical are charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, and Commercial Bribe Receiving in the Second Degree. Russo created a shell company called Bar Electrical to accept bribes from companies who wished to do business with Unity. Russo allegedly falsified business records, bribed and received kickbacks from purchasing agents, misclassification of salaries, charged customers for products not delivered and committed tax fraud for self-enrichment for at least $40 million in business.

Contact Us:

If you are facing falsifying false records, a government investigation or some other enterprise corruption violation, you need a white collar attorney who can get you the best results. The Blanch Law Firm has been fighting for our clients’ freedom for years. Contact our expert criminal defense attorney team today.