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Jul 11, 2016

NY Penal Law 225 Gambling Crimes

When it comes to the letter of the penal law in the state of New York, things can get a little tricky to understand, to say the least. You’re often going to have to end up facing a veritable mountain of legalese in your quest to understand just about anything that the language says, and in the process you’ll be wasting precious time that you could be devoting to mounting your legal defense. In this post we’re going to look at the charges involved in the various gambling offenses. Let’s get started with promoting gambling in the second degree.

Promoting gambling in the second degree.

You’re guilty of this particular crime when you knowingly advance or else profit from some kind of unlawful gambling activity. Promoting gambling in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Promoting gambling in the first degree.

Now for the first degree charge of this crime, you’ll have to have knowingly advanced or profited from illegal gambling activity by either engaging in bookmaking in a way that you receive or accept in a single day more than five bets that come to a total of more than five thousand dollars, or if you received in connection with a lottery scheme some money or written records from someone other than a player whose chances are represented by those records, or more than five hundred dollars in one day, of money played in the scheme. Promoting gambling in the first degree is considered to be a class E felony.

Possession of gambling records in the second degree.

To be guilty of this crime, you’ll have to have knowledge of the contents of a paper or article that is used in the operation of a bookmaking scheme, or a kind that’s commonly used to operate a lottery scheme, but it is a defense that the writing or paper possessed by you made up bets made by you that didn’t exceed ten. This also includes paper that has explosive characteristics, as well as water soluble paper. Possession of gambling records in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Possession of gambling records in the first degree.

To be guilty of this crime, you have to possess an article or paper (with knowledge of its contents) that either is commonly used to operate a bookmaking scheme, and which represents more than five bets for a total of more than five thousand dollars, or something that’s usually used in the operation of a lottery scheme that represents more than five hundred plays or even chances. Possession of gambling records in the first degree is considered to be a class E felony.

Possession of gambling records; defense.

It’s important to note that it’s not all bad. You do have a couple of defenses on your side when it comes to the charge of possession of gambling records. These are that the writing or paper that you had wasn’t used or even intended to be used in the operation of a bookmaking scheme, or in the operation of a lottery scheme either.

And there you have it. When you break down the letter of New York’s penal law into easy to understand components that show you the charges, the penalties for the charges, and the defenses that you have at your disposal, the whole enterprise becomes that much easier to deal with. Far from being convoluted, complicated, or confusing any more, when taken this way the law actually becomes interesting, and it also happens that you can be that much closer to staging a successful legal defense for any charges that might have been brought up against you. On the subject, if you’re facing absolutely any kind of legal problem at the moment, it’s critical that you get the right counsel for the job. At Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC, we offer the very when it comes to your personal legal defense. Get in touch with us today. It’ll be the thing you do today.

Possession of a gambling device; defenses.

In any kind of prosecution for the crime of possessing a gambling device, it’s considered to be an affirmative defense that the slot machine you had wasn’t used or even intended to be used in the operation of any kind of illegal activity, and that the slot machine in question was an antique. Just to be clear, any slot machine that was made before 1941 is considered conclusive proof that the machine is in fact an antique. Also, that the slot machine you have was manufactured or else assembled by you just so that you could transport the slot machine in a sealed container to some kind of jurisdiction that’s outside of the state of New York, for purposes that are legal in said jurisdiction. Also, you can use the explanation that the slot machine you had wasn’t used or intended to be used in the operation of an illegal gambling activity, and it’s more than thirty years old, and you’re holding onto it in your home, or that the machine was transferred in a sealed container to function towards product development, research, or some other kind of manufacture or assembly, and the machine will be or was transported in a sealed container to somewhere outside the jurisdiction, for legal purposes. When you raise up one of these affirmative defenses, any slot machine that was seized can’t be destroyed or altered until there’s a final court determination. If this determination rules in your favor, the slot machine will be returned unharmed.

Gambling offenses; presumptions.

There are a couple of presumptions for these kinds of charges, too. Let’s look into them. Proof of possession of a gambling device is considered to be presumptive evidence that you’ve possessed it with knowledge of what it is. In any kind of prosecution where it’s necessary to prove that there was some kind of sporting event that occurred, a published report of it is considered admissible as evidence in court, and constitutes proof. Possessing three or more coin operated gambling machines or possessing one in a public place is presumptive evidence that you intended to use it for illegal gambling activity.

Use of counterfeit, unapproved or unlawful wagering instruments.

Lastly we have use of counterfeit, unapproved or unlawful wagering instruments. You’re guilty of this particular crime if you play or use a casino game designed to be operated by some kind of token or coin and then knowingly use chips or token that weren’t approved to be used for that machine. Possessing more than one counterfeit token or coin or anything else of the type is considered to be presumptive evidence that you possessed these things with the knowledge of what they were. Use of counterfeit, unapproved or unlawful wagering instruments is a class A misdemeanor.

As you can see, that was relatively painless, and ended up making a lot of sense. Just because the letter of the law seems intimidating at first glance doesn’t mean it has to be that way. In fact, if you break down the individual components of the law and explain them in easy to understand English instead of the legalese that you’ll so commonly find on the books, you’re left with some text that’s actually pretty interesting, text that can help you to figure out what the course of action will be in terms of getting a good legal defense started. Because you might have a case that seems easy to beat and open and shut, but unless you have the right counsel for the job that case is going nowhere.

Government fraud implies illegal acts that are funded by government through scams or deception. Whenever government funds are used inappropriately, the taxpayers bear the greatest burden. Defrauding the government is a serious crime that results in both civil and criminal charges. Whistleblowers, also known as qui tam relators, are the first to report the crime and usually have a share in the damages awarded in these cases.

Types of Government Fraud

Government fraud takes many forms. The most significant include false claims and statements, procurement and contractor fraud, and medicaid fraud.

False Claims and Statements

According to the Federal False Claims Act, it is illegal for someone to make a false claim with the intention of defrauding the government or conspiring to do so. False claims pertain to defense contracts, healthcare fraud, social security, or other cases where the government pays an individual or company for an invalid reason.

Procurement and Contractor Fraud

An example of procurement fraud is where a company uses bribes to win contracts even when it did not make the or lowest bid. Other examples include inflating the price of supplies and cost of labor, issuing kickbacks, and charging the government for unfinished projects.

Medicaid/Medicare Fraud

Medicaid and Medicare fraud happens when healthcare firms seek reimbursement for procedures or lab tests that they have not performed, inflate clinical costs, and engage in other activities that defraud the government. In most cases, whistleblowers are the ones who report Medicaid fraud.

Penalties

Under the False Claims Act, anyone or company that defrauds the government using a false claim is required to pay three times the value of the funds stolen plus an additional fine ranging from $5,000-$10,000. Additional penalties include disqualification from all future government contracts.

Qui Tam

The False Claims Act provides that whistleblowers or qui tam relators have a right to share in the awards for cases in which they report government fraud. The Act also protects employees who expose their unscrupulous employers. Although many qui tam cases involve defense fraud or government healthcare, a qui tam relator can expose any other case of government fraud.

Whistleblower’s Potential Reward

A whistleblower is usually awarded a share ranging from 15%-30% for any recovery made by the government in false claim cases. Several factors affect the share that a whistleblower will receive in any case. The more a whistleblower contributes to the case, the higher the chances that they will get a larger share of recovery collected by the government. Apart from sharing in the government’s recovery, the accused party should pay for the whistleblower’s attorney costs and fees.

How Government Fraud Cases are Filed

Whistleblowers who report cases under the False Claims Act should file their claims under seal at the District Court. The requirements include a copy of the claim and a written statement detailing all material evidence that supports the allegations. These documents should be provided to the attorney general. Since the claim is sealed, neither the public nor the defendant are aware of the complaint. The claim stays under seal for 2 months pending investigations by the government. The seal can be delayed for a couple of months or even years depending on the complexity of the investigations.

Before the public knows about the complaint, the government will notify the court and the whistleblower whether it will intervene in the case. If the government chooses to intervene, it will assume the role of prosecuting the accused. In such cases, the whistleblower and their lawyer serve as partners to the prosecution. If the government chooses not to intervene, the whistleblower litigates the case on their own.

There are many procedural and substantive provisions of the False Claims Act that affect the success of a whistleblower’s case. For example, only the first whistleblower can pursue a fraud case on behalf of the government and share in the awards that may be given. Additionally, failing to serve and file the complaint according to the False Claims Act can lead to a dismissal of the lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations

Whistleblowers should bear in mind that the False Claims Act has a statute of limitation that, in some cases, may be as brief as six years. This means that potential whistleblowers should report a case of government fraud within a period of six years from the time they discovered the scheme. For an accurate determination of the statute of limitation for a particular case, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced government fraud attorney.

NY Penal Law 225 Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property

When it comes to the letter of the law in the state of New York’s penal code, at you’re going to come across something that’s pretty complicated, and at worst you’re going to be dealing with legalese that’s downright confusing. But just because this is very often the case doesn’t mean it has to be for you. In our recent series of posts we’ve been looking at gambling offenses so that we can break down the letter of the law into something a little more manageable. In this post we’re going to finish up our look at these offenses, starting with possession of unlawful gaming property in the third degree.

Possession of unlawful gaming property in the third degree.

You’re guilty of this charge when you possess gaming property with the intention of committing gaming fraud, as well as unlawful gaming property at a premises that’s used for casino gaming. Possession of unlawful gaming property in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Possession of unlawful gaming property in the second degree.

You’re guilty of this charge when you make, sell, or possess unlawful gaming property with the intention of selling it, and the value of it is more than three hundred bucks, and you intend that it’s going to be made available to someone so that it can be used unlawfully, or you commit this crime in the third degree and the face value of the substitute property is more than five hundred bucks, or you commit Possession of unlawful gaming property in the third degree and have previously been convicted in the last five years of a crime that involves possessing unlawful gaming property. Possession of unlawful gaming property in the second degree is considered to be a class E felony.

Manipulation of gaming outcomes at an authorized gaming establishment.

To be guilty of this, you have to knowingly operate or manipulate cards, dice, or any other kind of gambling device, for yourself or someone else through a trick of hand or a sleight performance with the intention of deceiving or else changing the chance element that determines the outcome of a game, or knowingly using, conducting, or knowingly allowing to be used dice, cards or any other kind of gambling device that’s been somehow tampered with, or made in a way that deceives or alters the element of chance in a particular game, or knowingly using or possessing with the intention of using cards, dice, or other gaming equipment that weren’t provided by an authorized gaming operator to use in an allowed gaming activity, or altering or misrepresenting the outcome of a game that has bets or wagers on it after the outcome is made but before it’s known to the players. Possession of altered, marked or tampered with dice, cards, or gaming equipment or devices at an authorized gambling establishment is considered to be presumptive evidence of possession when you have knowledge of its contents and then intend to use these altered dice, or devices to violate this section. Manipulation of gaming outcomes at an authorized gaming establishment is considered to be a class A misdemeanor provided, however, that if the person has previously been convicted of the crime in the last five years this crime is a class E felony.

See? That was quick, easy, and relatively painless. Just like going to the dentist. Anyway, we hope you’ll agree that when you take the often complicated and confusing letter of the law in the state of New York’s penal code and then go ahead and break it down into simple, easy to understand digestible chunks, you’re left with something that’s actually pretty interesting to read, and you also have a much better chance of putting up a sound legal defense for any charges you might be facing. But before any of that happens, you’re going to need the right legal counsel for the job. All the understanding of the law in the world won’t do you any good if the lawyer you have representing you doesn’t have the skills or experience necessary to make sure that your needs are truly met.

NY Penal Law 225 Gambling Crimes

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