A survey of past New York criminal charges for falsifying business records

The Manhattan District Attorney’s charge against former President Donald Trump is the primary offense of “falsifying business records in the first degree” under New York State Law (NY Penal Code Section 175.10). Prosecutors, and indeed all of us, are bound by the rule of law in how such a case compares to past cases. Are cases being handled in the same manner?

They appear here. First-degree falsification of business records is a common practice, and New York district attorneys’ offices range in criminal behavior from petty and trivial to serious and highly organized. We came to this conclusion after reviewing the past decade and a half of criminal cases in all New York District Attorneys’ offices.

The table below provides full details of many of the examples we identified in the survey. A sample of representative prerequisites includes:

  • New York State Population New York State. Joshua Aguilar Dubon, AKA Saady Dubon, AKA Alejandro Ortiz (October 2022) — A Bronx business owner has been charged with failing to report more than $1 million in income, evading $60,000 in taxes.
  • Scott Kirtland from the people of New York State In the year
  • New York State People from James Garner (November 2021) — A mental health medical assistant has been charged with defrauding more than $35,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.
  • New York State People with Jose Palmer (November 2016) – Pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny and falsifying business records after pleading guilty to felony unemployment benefits fraud of more than $3,000.
  • New York State People from Jason Holley (November 2016) – He was convicted by a jury of falsifying business records in the first degree, but was acquitted of a prior felony, insurance fraud.
  • People of New York State with Christina Murray (May 2015) and People v. Terrel Murray (May 2014) — A couple sued in a home fire insurance lawsuit for trying to cash in on various properties that were apparently lost in the fire.
  • People of the State of New York with Barbara A. Freeland (June 2013) – Penalized for falsely claiming he lived with an adult on a food stamp application.
  • People of the State of New York v. Maria F. Ramirez (August 2010) — Accused of returning unpurchased items to a store for store credit, falsely entering the company’s business records, and using the store credit to purchase additional items one day.

Before delving into these and many other issues in a detailed table, we provide a brief overview of the applicable law. New York’s criminal statute of falsification of business records is found in Article 175 of the New York Penal Code. The crime of falsifying business records can be committed in the second degree, which is a Class A felony (NY Penal Code § 175.05) or in the first degree, which is a Class E felony (NY Penal Code § 175.10).

An individual is guilty of “falsifying business records in the second degree with intent to defraud;

  1. makes or causes a false entry in the company’s business records; Or
  2. Alters, deletes, destroys, deletes, removes or destroys a genuine entry in the company’s business records. Or
  3. omits to make a true entry in the company’s business records in violation of a duty which he knows is imposed on him by law or in the nature of his position; Or
  4. It prevents genuine entry or omission in the company’s business records. NY Penal Code § 175.05

An individual is “guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree.” NY Penal Code § 175.10.

In order for Trump to be charged with falsifying business records, the law requires Trump to prove not only that he was guilty of falsifying business records, but also that he intended to commit “another crime.” or aiding or abetting the commission of “another crime.”

A table of dozens of cases is provided in the 24-page Scribd file below and in a separate online PDF.

Survey of New York charges of falsifying business records on Scribd

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