Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Three Indicted For Larceny Scheme

Yesterday, we dealt with the latest celebrity crime matter, the David Letterman extortion case. Today, another white collar case is the topic, this time right from the Boston area. The crime is Larceny. That’s right, that is what Letterman’s blackmailer was charged with as well. This, however, seems to simply be about plain old-fashioned theft.

The alleged crime involves the theft of hundreds of Verizon Blackberrys and the sale of them on the internet. To date, the suspects’ rewards include hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively and one criminal defense attorney each.

“This was an extensive scheme,” the Middlesex District Attorney said in the statement announcing the indictments. “We thank Verizon for first discovering this scheme and then contacting authorities immediately…”

He estimated the alleged scam had a value in excess of $600,000.

Ringleader of the plot is reputed to be Wayne D (Hereinafter, “Defendant Kingpin”). Assisting him was Shartieya L., 23, (hereinafter, “Defendant Henchman”). According to the authorities, they would obtain the Blackberrys by using fictitious names and, in some cases, invoking the names of legitimate companies. Then, they would sell them to Nihat O.,44 (hereinafter, “Defendant Salesman”), who is accused of re-selling them on e-Bay.

The enterprise came to light in July, when police found a storage facility rented by Defendants Kingpin and Henchman which contained “large amounts of cash”, Verizon Blackberry phones, bank documents and other Verizon equipment. Police also allegedly recovered stolen Blackberrys from Defendant Salesman. The case has been pending in district court, but now that the trio have been indicted on felony charges, the matter will move up to Middlesex Superior Court. All three have thus far pleaded not guilty.

In the meantime, Defendant Kingpin is being held at the Middlesex Jail while Defendants Henchman and Salesman were both released on personal recognizance, prosecutors said.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

Larceny is the crime of illegally taking another’s property, seeking to deprive them of it.

Usually it is for personal gain. In the Letterman case, the means of doing so was to blackmail him. In this case, Defendants Kingpin and Henchman fraudulently obtained the phones and then got them to Defendant Salesman to sell them.

Theft can occur however one goes about wrongfully taking the property of another. There are many methods of doing so. People can be creative. Ask Bernie Madoff.

In this case, the matter could be prosecuted in different ways. For example, Defendant Salesman could simply be prosecuted for possession of the stolen merchandise while Defendants Kingpin and Henchman were the actual thieves being charged with grand larceny. However, as this involved an alleged plot in which they were working together, they could all be charged with the various charges because they were working in a conspiracy.
The word “conspiracy” is used most often in federal cases. At present, this matter is being prosecuted in state court. However, since it involved the internet, and therefore other states, it could also be prosecuted on the federal level.

In a conspiracy, each co-conspirator can be held accountable for what everyone else in the conspiracy does in the furtherance of said conspiracy.

And this is where things can get tricky and, yes, even involve you.

If you are somehow on the outer edge of a conspiracy, you may not even know about it. If you do not know about the conspiracy, you are not a part of the conspiracy. In fact, you may not even be doing anything illegal. However, you would be surprised at how reluctant law enforcement can be to simply take your word for it when you tell them that you did not know during their investigation. Suddenly, you can find yourself either facing charges or being pressured to “give up” information you really don’t know in order to keep your freedom.

Of course, as you are being so pressured, others with perhaps a lesser allegiance to the truth, are probably being pressured as well. I wonder if they might confirm the suspicions the authorities have about you…whatever the truth may be.

It can be a very tricky and dangerous mess. To guide you through it, you know what I am going to recommend…an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Should you or a loved one be in the unfortunate circumstance of being suspected, or indeed charged, in such matters, and you wish to consult me, please feel free to do so. Simply email me through our site or call me at (617) 206-1942.

For the full article upon which today’s blog is based, go to
http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/10/three_face_char.html

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