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Police charge NAACP official with grand larceny felony charges

The crime of larceny involves taking property that belongs to another with the intent to keep it for oneself. In New York, there is petit larceny and grand larceny. Petit larceny involves an amount up to $1,000, and grand larceny can apply to amounts above that amount. Felony charges are usually associated with grand larceny, and the sentence for that crime can go as high as 25 years, depending on the amount stolen.

The New York State Police have charged a 64-year-old man with grand larceny for allegedly stealing $54,015 from the account of the CNY Pop-Warner Football and Cheerleading organization in Syracuse. The defendant was the treasurer of the football/cheerleading organization. He also serves as the treasurer of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The police allege that the accused endorsed 56 unauthorized transactions that totaled the charged amount. The police added that the accused returned $33,000 of the money. The statement does not indicate whether he returned the money prior to the charges or after the charges were lodged.

If he made that gesture prior to the charges being leveled, it may indicate that the defendant never intended to retain the funds. It may indicate his intention at all times to return the funds. Additionally, these charges are more in the nature of embezzlement due to the apparent authority of the accused to have access to the funds.

However, assuming that the reported facts, including the return of a substantial amount, are basically true, then defense counsel will more than likely want to negotiate an early plea deal. This may stress the defendant's many years of service to the organization and to civic causes in the community. Most importantly, the return of the funds may indicate a possibility of getting a plea to the felony charges that will avoid incarceration as part of the sentence. In any plea deal with that result, the defendant will typically be required to pay back the remainder owed pursuant to an agreed payment schedule.

Source: syracuse.com, "Syracuse NAACP president arrested on grand larceny charges", Patrick Lohmann, Jan. 11, 2016

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