Criminal Lawyers in New York, NY

The Criminal Lawyer Group is composed of top-rated attorneys who have successfully represented corporate clients and individuals from New York facing federal and state criminal charges and government investigations in each of the four (4) federal district courts:

1. Southern District of New York (“SDNY”)
2. Northern District of New York (“NDNY”)
3. Eastern District of New York (“EDNY”)
4. Western District of New York (“WDNY”)

Our team consists of former prosecutors and award winning defense attorneys who have been recognized for their success in criminal defense litigation.

Our attorneys have developed a reputation among the likes of the Manhattan Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice and have represented clients during investigations from federal financial agencies including the IRS, SEC, FINRA and FinCEN and federal health care agencies investigating federal fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs like the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and various other federal and state agencies.

If you or someone you know is currently under investigation or has been charged with a crime, please feel free to give us a call at (212) 736-0030.

Most Prosecuted Cases in the SDNY

1. Trafficking Narcotics - 21 U.S.C § 841

Generally, trafficking has to do with the selling or exchange of drugs. However, drug trafficking can be one of many acts. According to the federal government, "trafficking" can include making drugs, selling drugs, possession of a certain amount. The facts specific to your case will determine whether the charges against you are correct.

21 U.S.C § 841: "Manufacture, Distribute, Dispense, or Posses"

According to the statute, it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally--

(1) manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess a controlled substance; or

(2) manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess a counterfeit substance.

"Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance"

This includes the making and creation of a controlled substance. It relates to trafficking because, for the most part, once the controlled substance is made it must then go to people to sell or use.

"Distribution or Dispensing of a Controlled Substance"

Also known as, "trafficking a controlled substance," this act involves the transferring a controlled substance from one person to another. When the transfer involves the crossing of state lines, the federal government is automatically granted federal jurisdiction and the power to prosecute the offender.

"Possession with Intent to Distribute"

This act seems like the simple possession of a controlled substance. However, law enforcement will be looking at the amount of a controlled substance that you are possessing to determine whether it is personal use or trafficking amounts. Additionally, law enforcement may look at the additional contraband that you have in your possession alongside the controlled substances.

If your case goes to trial, the government may have an expert testify as to whether you were trafficking by possession with intent to distribute based on the amount drugs and the drug paraphernalia alleged to be found.

Penalties for Trafficking Narcotics

Trafficking penalties vary from case to case. These penalties are primarily determined by the:
(1) type of controlled substance and (2) amount of controlled substance.

If convicted, first-time trafficking offenders may face imprisonment of one year to life.

If convicted, second-time trafficking offenders may face imprisonment of two years to life.

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2. Racketeering (RICO) - 18 U.S.C § 1962

Enacted by Section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act of 1970 gives the government the ability to prosecute multiple individuals for actions that promote organized crime.

“Organized Crime” = More Than One Criminal Act

“Organized crime” involved a series of acts carried out by a group of individuals who share the intent to commit a crime.

“Interstate and Foreign Commerce” = Federal Jurisdiction

The RICO Act may give the federal government jurisdiction over your case because organized crime usually involves money, and the use of this money to further a criminal act is considered to interfere with interstate and foreign commerce.

Penalties for RICO - Maximum: 20 Years

While it may seem that racketeering being tacked onto your indictment is no big deal, that is far from the truth. Racketeering comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years. If the racketeering is related to murder, the maximum penalty is life.

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3. Securities Fraud - 18 U.S. Code § 1348

If you find yourself being investigated by the FBI or the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the purchase or sale of a security, there is a possibility that you are about to be charged with securities fraud. Examples of securities would include stocks, bonds, options, notes and other forms of investments or instruments.

18 U.S. Code § 1348: "Creating and/or Executing a Plan to Defraud"

The Federal government regulates securities and commodities under the authority of 18 U.S. Code § 1348.

The statute prohibits anyone from:
(1) creating and/or executing a plan to defraud another in connection with future delivery or option for future delivery of any security.
(2) creating and/or executing a plan to defraud a financial institution or government agency.
(3) receiving any money by making false statements in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

An example of a securities violation that may be prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code § 1348 would be a Ponzi scheme; where the newest investors do not benefit from their investments.

"False Statements"

Securities fraud cases often involve individuals who make false statements or representations to potential investors or on SEC filings and promotional material.

Penalties for Securities Fraud - Maximum: 30 Years

If you are found guilty of securities fraud, you may be fined or imprisoned up to 25 years or both.
However, you may face up to 30 years imprisonment if your fraud involves a financial institution like a bank.

"Treble Damages" = Triple the Fine

Due to the serious nature of securities fraud crimes, certain statutes, like Rule 10b-5 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, authorize the government to seek "treble damages," or triple the amount of the investment losses caused by the fraud.

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4. Wire Fraud - 18 U.S. Code § 1343

Wire fraud involves fraudulent acts that occur from the aid or use of wire, radio, or television communication. While the title may sound odd, the statute represents an adaption of previous types of fraudulent actions such as mail and telephone fraud.

With the growth of technology comes the adaptation of laws and prohibited acts. Today communications are almost never done with things like the mail, and the home telephone is rarely used. However, the internet has gotten more accessible, and email is highly used. Many business transactions, including simple banking, can be done over the internet.

18 U.S. Code § 1343: “Fraud by Wire, Radio, or Television”

The law that penalizes wire fraud is 18 U.S. Code § 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television.

This statute prohibits you from using these types of transmitting devices to carry out a fraud or obtain money by false or fraudulent promises

“Interstate and Foreign Commerce” = Federal Jurisdiction

The federal government is granted jurisdiction over wire fraud cases when individuals use things like the internet to commit fraudulent acts across state lines.

Examples of Wire Fraud

(1) If your fraudulent actions involve someone sending you money through a wire or bank transfer, that transaction would be considered to have crossed state lines and would be a violation of the federal wire fraud statute.
(2) If your fraudulent actions involve promoting your fraudulent scheme through email or over the internet it may be considered to have crossed state lines and would be a violation of the federal wire fraud statute.

An important thing to remember with this example is that you do not always know whether an email is crossing a state line. Emails travel in various ways and from server to server. You may think that an email is being sent to a person across the street, but because of servers, it may actually go across the country and back.

Penalties for Wire Fraud - 5 Years

Generally, the penalty for wire fraud includes a fine or up to five years in prison or both. The fine itself can vary. This is because the courts can look at the profit that you made from your fraud and double it. It is likely that they will then impose the higher fine.

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5. Health Care Fraud - 18 U.S. Code § 1347

Federal charges for health care fraud focuses on the area of health care, but they can be applied in various methods by looking at the ways that you are benefiting from this fraud. The government is trying to limit people from receiving benefits from these programs in the form of money, goods, or services.

The purpose of health care fraud goes beyond just trying to prohibit people from taking things unlawfully. One of the reasons that the government has focused on health care fraud is because they are also concerned about the safety of those receiving care based on fraud. Often services that are obtained through fraud are not regulated and therefore can result in improper care.

18 U.S. Code § 1347: “Defrauding a Health Care Benefits Program”

The statute that prohibits health care fraud is 18 U.S. Code § 1347. This statute makes it illegal to defraud a health care benefit program or to obtain money or property owned by any health care benefit program.

Prohibited Acts

The federal Health Care Fraud statute is broadly worded to include all types of fraud committed against government health care benefits programs. One example of a prohibited act includes the following:

In 2017 the United States Attorneys Office charged a group of six people who, for a period of twelve years, had a health care fraud scheme in which they submitted more than $12 million in false claims.

These claims were made to both federal programs and private insurance companies. Their acts included submitted claims to insurance companies for medical tests that were not actually completed; paying kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals; and unauthorized access to patient data.

Penalties for Health Care Fraud - 10 Years

The penalty for health care fraud is a fine and up to ten years imprisonment. However, it is unlikely that you will see just this charge. Often, individuals are charged with health care fraud in addition to crimes like money laundering, wire fraud, and false statements relating to health care matters.

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6. Money Laundering - 18 U.S. Code § 1956

Another crime that is highly charged is money laundering. Usually, this crime is attached to other alleged criminal activities. Money laundering has to do with what you are doing with the money you have earned from other criminal activities.

18 U.S. Code § 1347: “Defrauding a Health Care Benefits Program”

The statute that makes money laundering illegal is 18 U.S. Code § 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments. Essentially the statute prohibits you from concealing money that either comes from illegal activities or for the purpose of avoiding taxes. This statute also prohibits the moving of money from the United States to another country for those purposes as well.

Prohibited Acts

Many people are aware of money laundering or have seen it on tv.
Generally, those shows depict drug dealers trying to conceal their earnings. This depiction of money laundering may play itself out in real life.

Drug Crimes and Money Laundering

In 2018 the United States Attorneys Office charged a Las Vegas, NV man with money laundering for assisting international drug traffickers. His actions included setting up stash houses in Philadelphia, PA., setting up shell corporations, and flipping houses to conceal money eared from drug trafficking.

But what is often not seen is that individuals not related to drugs can also be charged with money laundering.

Bank Fraud and Money Laundering

A co-founder of a banking system called Liberty Reserves was charged with money laundering because of his part in creating currency exchange service company.

Since the company did not verify the identity of its users, the were deemed to have allowed the users to transfer money without being traced. The company operated on credits, similar to that of Bitcoin, where the deposited money turned into digital money.

Criminal Penalties for Money Laundering - Maximum: 20 Years

If you are found guilty of money laundering, you may be fined $500,000 or double the amount of the value of the property involved (whichever is greater), or not more than 20 years in prison, or both.

Civil Penalties for Money Laundering

In addition to the criminal penalties, you may also be liable for a civil penalty of a fine that is no more than either value of the property involved or $10,000.

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7. Tax Fraud - 26 U.S. Code § 7201 - 7217

Federal charges for tax fraud are often brought based on false information provided to the government when filing your taxes. However, there are many ways that these charges could arise. As you will see, the tax fraud statute is very broad and widely applicable statute.

Tax Fraud Statutes

26 U.S. Code § 7201 - 7217 contains a list of prohibited acts. While this is a long list of statutes, the most applicable acts include the following:

§ 7201 - Attempt to evade or defeat tax;
§ 7202 - Willful failure to collect or pay over tax;
§ 7203 - Willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax;
§ 7204 - Fraudulent statement or failure to make statement to employees;
§ 7205 - Fraudulent withholding exemption certificate or failure to supply information;
§ 7206 - Fraud and false statements;
§ 7207 - Fraudulent returns, statements, or other documents.

Each of these statutes essentially deals with reporting income or fees when paying your taxes to the government.

”Intent”

An important thing to note is that, as you may see, these statutes all require that you purposely have committed these acts. Merely acting negligently would not be enough for the government to succeed in their charges against you.

Examples of Tax Fraud

For you to get a better understanding of the laws on tax fraud and how they could be applied to the facts in your case, it is best to consult a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney. Some examples of tax fraud include:

(1) In 2008 an attorney acting as an executor of an estate created a fake charity to send money from the estate. The attorney then took that money and purchased a home. To disguise these acts the attorney then put the purchase of the home under the estate’s name and reported the transactions on the estate’s taxes rather than his own.

(2) Another example, one where it was a tax preparer who committed the tax fraud on behalf of his clients. This tax preparer’s actions included adding false education credits to tax documents. In this case, the tax preparer made false statements saything that his clients were paying for tuition in the amount of $4,000 in order to receive a $1,000 credit. This was illegally giving credits where they should not have been rewarded.

Penalties for Tax Fraud - Maximum: 5 Years for Each Count

Generally, the penalty of tax fraud is a fine accompanied by a prison sentence of up to five years. The amount of the fine will depend on the specific act.

It is important to remember that this is the penalty for each count of tax fraud listed on a defendant's indictment. Depending on the allegations, a single defendant could face multiple counts of tax fraud.

Your Next Step

If you find that you are being investigated do not answer questions or provide evidence without first speaking with a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney.

If you are accused of committing any of these crimes, it is important that you retain Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys who are skilled in substantive and procedural federal law, like those at The Criminal Lawyer Group.

Please feel free to call us anytime and schedule your appointment with a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney at (212) 736-0300.

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Additional Areas of Practice

Criminal Lawyer Group represents corporations and individuals in all areas of federal and state criminal law. In many of these practice areas, our attorneys have experience handling with complex cases and representing high profile clients.

Bank Fraud & Embezzlement

The federal government regulates bank fraud and embezzlement against the federal government. This includes actions by federal contractors, federal employees, and banks holding federal funds. There must be a nexus between the bank fraud or embezzlement for a federal prosecutor to successfully pursue the case.

Tax Evasion & Fraud

The intentional evasion or fraud of taxes owed to the federal government is a serious federal offense. In every federal jurisdiction tax evasion and fraud is subject to a term of imprisonment and hefty criminal fine.

Identity Theft & Fraud

Identity theft was a made a federal offense in 1998 to combat the rising level of theft involving Social Security Numbers, credit cards, driver’s license information, and other bank account information. Today, charges for identity theft and fraud are primarily used to target the use of computers and computer networks to commit the theft and subsequent misuse of personal data.

Corporate Fraud

Federal investigators focus intensely on suspected corporate fraud because there is a clear connection between these crimes and impact on the economy and corporate well-being. For this reason accusations of corporate fraud should be addressed swiftly and strategically through capable legal counsel.

Organized Crime & RICO

These federal criminal statutes were originally passed to target the Mafia, but are not applied to several types of complex criminal organizations, including drug cartels, gangs, and even legal organizations engaged in specific illegal activity. Still a priority for federal investigators, charges under the RICO statute are substantially serious for any individual involved in a large-scale enterprise.

Other White-Collar Crime

White-collar crime covers a broad range of unlawful activities involving business and financial schemes. The connection between these crimes including, intellectual property theft, money laundering, wire fraud, securities fraud, and phishing schemes, is the driving incentive behind the illegal activity is a financial incentive.

Espionage

The federal government has a vested interest in keeping classified and security-sensitive documents from public disclosure. The unlawful release or proliferation of classified documents falls under the federal criminal laws on espionage, and is the most common application of this federal crime today.

Trafficking of Firearms & Narcotics

The federal government has jurisdiction over the unlawful movement of any goods through interstate commerce or internationally. In particular, federal investigators are focused on the illegal trafficking of firearms and narcotics into the United States.

Cyber Crimes

Advancements in technology have increased the potential for cyber crimes, including frauds and thefts, through the use of computers, computer networks, and computer systems. Cyber crimes also cover the various offenses involving acts of terrorism, phishing scams, and information warfare perpetuated over the Internet.

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What Makes CLG Different?

The Criminal Lawyer Group our network of attorneys as a strategic asset to your federal criminal defense. Due to our nationwide presence, we can do more than just offer a single strategy or viewpoint on your case. Rather, we can tap into a plethora of shared knowledge and information that is inaccessible to other law firms.

Federal and State Criminal Defense Experience

Whether your case is complex or a new question before the federal court, our team has the experience to effectively represent you. Through a team approach to federal criminal defense, Criminal Lawyer Group taps into this experience, no matter where you or your case are located.

Access to Top-Rated Lawyers From Around The Country

At The Criminal Lawyer Group, our clients receive access to top-rated federal defense lawyers from around the country, without losing the care and attention that you and your case deserve.

Every Client is a High-Profile Client

We remain steadfastly committed to regular communication and careful explanation of any accusations against you. Our team is trained to be effective and efficient in every action, but never sacrifice the quality of your defense for any reason. We are familiar with the federal district courts and available to meet in-person, when needed.

Our Local Firm Mentality

Our commitment to a local law firm mentality is maintained even as we handle complex and high profile federal cases. This client-oriented approach to federal criminal defense leads to improved outcomes for our clients and better legal services along the way.

Want to learn more about our nationwide network of federal defense lawyers?
Contact us today at (212) 736-0030.

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Become a Part of CLG

Criminal Lawyer Group continues to expand and add new, highly capable lawyers to our team, but our focus on federal defense always accounts for individual clients.

Do you think you have what it takes to join our elite group of criminal defense attorneys? Then call us today and one of our associates will help you fill out a brief application over the phone.

Want to learn more about becoming a part of our nationwide network of federal defense attorneys? Contact us today at (212) 736-0030.