Recent larceny charges for New Yorkers highlight state’s theft laws

Larceny charges in New York can carry with them significant consequences, including having to serve years in jail.

In July of this year, two New York women allegedly tricked a 62-year-old immigrant from China into handing over around $85,000 in jewelry and cash. According to NBC News, one woman pretended to be clairvoyant and told the older woman that in order to remove a curse that would kill her family, she needed to have her money and jewelry blessed.

What happened next illustrates New York's theft laws. Anyone facing larceny charges, as these women do now, should understand the consequences involved.

The case

The elderly woman willingly handed over $15,000 in cash from her home, withdrew $50,000 from her bank account and took approximately $20,000 in jewelry from a safe deposit box. She put the items in a bag for the woman to bless so the curse would be removed.

According to prosecutors, the two New York woman allegedly removed the jewelry and cash form the bag and put water bottles in it instead. They handed the bag back to the elderly woman and told her not to open it. However, the woman did open the bag to see her items were no longer there, and she called 911.

Charges and consequences

The women were arrested and charged with a number of items, including second degree grand larceny, third degree grand larceny and several third and fourth degree counts related to criminal possession of stolen property. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges. A man was also charged in connection with the act, as he allegedly acted as a lookout while the women were talking to the older woman.

Larceny is a charge people may face when they take or withhold property from someone else. In New York, the law assigns larceny charges based on the amount of money or property stolen. Grand larceny in the second degree applies to situations in which the value of the items exceeds $50,000. A third degree charge applies to property values worth more than $3,000. Both charges are considered felonies.

The third degree charge is considered a D felony, and a second degree charge is a C felony. A D felony could carry with it up to seven years in jail, and a C felony could involve as many as 15 years in prison. Criminal possession of stolen property in the third and fourth degrees is also considered felonies, class D and E respectively.

The attorney in this case told NBC News that the allegations against his clients were untrue. Clearly, there is much at stake for the people facing these charges. Anyone who has concerns about this topic should speak with a criminal defense attorney in New York.