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New York Criminal Defense Law Blog

Former sports radio co-host convicted of fraud

Former sports radio co-host Craig Carton was convicted of fraud in a New York court on Nov. 7. Carton told reporters after leaving the Manhattan federal court that while he was disappointed in the verdict, he respected it. Carton's lawyers are planning to appeal the verdict.

Carton was convicted on charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy. He allegedly went to investors and told them that he was able to get premium tickets to popular live concerts, such as Barbara Streisand and Metallica. Carton told investors that he could help them grow their wealth by reselling the premium tickets at a higher cost. Carton allegedly fabricated contracts for the tickets and collected approximately $7 million from investors. Opposing counsel said that Carton spent all of the money on himself and that the scheme was reminiscent of a Ponzi scheme.

Former TV star could be jailed on fraud charges

New York officials have announced that former TV star Shannade Clermont from the reality show "Bad Girls Club" has pleaded guilty to charges of felony wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said that Clermont attempted to make over $20,000 in fraudulent charges on a stolen debit card number. After the man who owned the card passed away from an overdose, the former TV star used the card number for several large transactions.

Clermont said in court that she knew that she was guilty of violating the law against wire fraud, according to reports. She became involved in the case after police investigated the man's death in 2017. Clermont visited his apartment the day before his body was found and, while there, took two of the man's debit cards from his wallet before leaving. She was accused of later using the cards to pay her rent and phone bills as well as booking flights for her travel after learning of the death. Clermont is facing time in federal prison, and she will be sentenced in February 2019.

How does bail work in New York?

No matter where in the United States you are, bail allows people to stay out of jail until the court decides on their case(s) while providing an incentive to not flee before the trial date. Some have been vocal regarding New York's bail system because it can punish those without the financial resources necessary to post bail, meaning presumably innocent people remain in jail for months or even years without conviction of a crime. 

Although the concept of bail remains confusing to many, it is the most effective action available to give both sides of the criminal justice system peace of mind. Naturally, there are some cases where the court will not set bail because police arrested an individual on suspicion of a serious crime, such as murder. However, mostly everyone arrested in New York will have the option to make bail.

New York man admits to running fentanyl ring

A 30-year-old New York man faces a custodial sentence ranging from 10 years to life after admitting to being the leader of an Elmira-based fentanyl ring. The man entered guilty pleas to conspiracy, drug possession and drug distribution charges in a Monroe County federal courtroom on Oct. 25. Prosecutors say that 13 members of the group have now been convicted on federal drug charges. At least two overdose deaths have been linked by law enforcement to the group's activities.

.The man is said to have used eBay to purchase the machinery and components he needed to manufacture fentanyl pills. Homes in Catlin and Sayre were used to make the pills, which police say were designed to look just like Percocet painkillers. Investigators believe that the man's operation earned more than $750,000 selling the pills for $30 each in the Elmira area. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous but highly prized by opioid addicts because it is cheaper and far more powerful than heroin.

Two Utica men arrested after cocaine found in vehicle

On Oct. 12, New York State Police troopers arrested two Utica men on drug charges after allegedly finding a large amount of cocaine in their vehicle during a traffic stop. Troopers pulled over the vehicle for multiple violations at approximately 9:02 p.m. in Ardsley, which is in Westchester County.

When troopers spoke with the vehicle's occupants, a 56-year-old driver and a 36-year-old passenger, they allegedly found probable cause to conduct a search. Troopers then found around 226 grams of cocaine and around 1 gram of marijuana in the possession of the passenger.

Identity theft remains a thorny problem

Identity thieves in New York and around the country have been the targets of FBI investigations for decades, but the problem has become far more serious in recent years as more and more Americans handle their financial affairs online. The Federal Trade Commission says that the number of complaints it received about identity theft almost doubled between 2010 and 2015, but experts believe that the true number could be much higher than government figures indicate because many victims never learn that their identities were stolen.

Committing identity theft involves using another individual's confidential personal information to further crimes such as theft and fraud. Identity thieves obtain sensitive information by going through trash, sending phishing emails or using social engineering techniques. The money that can be made in this way has also attracted the attention of major criminal organizations. Attacks mounted against some of the world's most secure websites have resulted in data breaches that compromised the personal information of millions of Americans.

Police chief charged with taking painkillers from drop box

The chief of police of a New York town was arrested and charged with a federal drug crime on Oct. 5. If convicted, he could face up to one year in federal prison and be slapped with a $100,000 fine.

According to local media reports, the defendant is accused of taking prescription hydrocodone pills from the New York State Medication Drop Box at the Kenmore Police Station. FBI Special Agents reportedly questioned him about taking the pills, and he allegedly confessed that he is addicted to the opioid painkiller and has been taking pills from the drop box to fuel his addiction. He also allegedly led agents to a closet in his office where he had stashed more than 100 hydrocodone pills for his personal use.

The consequences of methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine is an illegal, addictive and strong stimulant drug made from pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found some cold medicines. Crystal meth takes the form of shiny rocks or crystal chunks. Users may snort, inject, swallow or smoke it. 

Possessing and consuming methamphetamine comes with various consequences. Here are some of the health and legal repercussions you may deal with if you have an involvement with meth: 

Two Oneida residents arrested in meth bust

Two residents of Oneida have been taken into custody for a meth bust following an investigation by the Madison County Narcotics Task Force and the Madison County Sheriff's Department. Police stated that the alleged offenders were part of a large-scale methamphetamine operation.

The materials used were reportedly disposed of at the residence. At the scene, law enforcement seized 50 one-pot meth labs, numerous lab components as well as two rifle magazines.

Federal agencies using analytics to detect fraud

A fraud risk management summit featuring officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice took place in New York. The event was staged by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. According to the chief of the Financial Crimes Section of the FBI, a big priority for his unit is stemming the flow of prescription narcotics and drugs by means of opioid diversion.

The assistant regional director of the New York Regional Office of the SEC said that her agency is focused on violations that impact retail investors. The SEC is making use of data analytics technology to detect this sort of violation. She said they were looking for sales of unsuitable products, pump and dump fraud, Ponzi schemes, accounting fraud and the use of unsuitable strategies for trading, among other things. The SEC formed the Retail Strategy Task Force in 2018 to identify areas of retail investment risk using data analytics.

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