Lawmakers and district attorneys in New York want to toughen laws in the state to crackdown on white collar crime. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has called for legislators in New York to strengthen current laws and pass new laws that will help New York prosecute more white collar crimes.
District attorneys in New York say that current laws are outdated and need to be strengthened to prosecute more people facing white collar felony charges. Supporters of increasing penalties and closing loopholes in New York's white collar crime laws say that the state should follow the federal government's example in cracking down on financial crimes that continue to plague New York and the entire country.
To understand the problems with New York's white collar crime laws, district attorneys in the state put together a task force to study the ways state laws could be revised or improved to crackdown on financial crimes, including fraud and corruption.
After the task force study was completed, the group highlighted some of the proposals that were made to address white collar crime laws in New York and how to strengthen those laws. Below is a list of the proposals made by the group:
- Increase penalties for the "scheme to defraud" statute. Current laws only have on penalty for this offense, regardless of how much money was made from the fraud scheme.
- Eliminate the loophole in the state's public bribery law. Their proposal would change current law to only require prosecutors to prove that there was an "intent to influence" by the accused, which would make it easier to prosecute public bribery crimes.
- Change the larceny statute to include theft of computer code and other digital information. Current law only applies to intangible property.
- Allow prosecutors to present records to a grand jury without having a live witness testify. Current law requires that juries have to have a witness authenticate business records, making it more difficult to present certain information if a witness is not available or willing to testify.
These proposals may be considered by New York legislators later this year. If lawmakers propose and pass new bills to strengthen current white collar crime laws, more individuals could face white collar crime charges that would result in harsher penalties if they are convicted.
Source: Thomson Reuters News & Insight, "Legislators must toughen N.Y.'s white-collar laws: DA Vance," Joseph Ax, May 20, 2013