Corruption in New York Law Enforcement – Bad Cops

This blog has talked about corruption within the ranks of law enforcement in the state. By and large, New York’s finest does live up to its name – but there are serious patterns across the state that warrant concern – particularly for potential defendants and their lawyers.

 

A teen who was pimped out by an NYPD detective recently was awarded $1.25 million for her horrible experience. Detective Wayne Taylor, the detective in question, had a long line of complaints about his behavior as an undercover officer and detective. Among the complaints are an abuse of authority and having sex with prostitutes.

 

According to the lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn, the child – 13 at the time, and known only as H.H., came into contact with Taylor. She was a ballet dancer and was invited to dance a party for money, from a woman who claimed to be Taylor’s wife. She showed up to the party, where she was ‘sold’ for $500.00. When H.H. balked, she alleged that Taylor said he was a detective, and if she did not follow his orders, he would throw her in the street and arrest her for prostitution.

 

He forced her into prostitution and eventually passed her on to another pimp. Prior to this incident, the evidence revealed that Taylor had been the subject of 25 complaints. Three had been cleared, but the remainder were pending. Taylor pleaded guilty, but the Judge in the matter believed that had the NYPD adequately investigated and disciplined Taylor for his bad conduct, he would not have felt that he could have prostituted H.H.

 

In other disturbing news, another NYPD cop has been caught sending sexually inappropriate texts to a 16-year old. He also worked as a girls’ volleyball coach through the “Cops and Kids” program of the Police Athletic League. Andre Patnett accepted an unspecified penalty instead of a department trial, being allowed to keep his shield. However, he could still be terminated.

 

Another police officer of the NYPD, Reynaldo Lopez, has been arrested after he tried to bring 3 kilograms of heroin into the city – a small part of a massive scheme involving credit card fraud and counterfeit cash. Lopez had been caught after another undercover officer handed off the drugs during a meetup in New Jersey. According to court records, he was also seen carrying his own personal handgun during the drug deal. He became a target after the NYPD and FBI had carried out a sting investigating a counterfeit credit card ring earlier in the year. Lopez is accused of receiving stolen credit card information and accepting stolen identities from another undercover officer. He used these fraudulent credit cards to spend over $13,000.00 at various luxury retail stores around New York and New Jersey. Possession of narcotics over 1 kilogram carries with it a maximum life sentence.

 

After internal disciplinary reports of the NYPD were released to the public, it is clear that there is a rash of cover-ups and corruption occurring in the department. The NYPD allowed over 300 cops accused of significant and serious misconduct (beating civilians, perjury, selling drugs, etc.) to stay on the force. Prosecutors are implicated, with many of them dropping cases concerning bad police conduct, meaning they could not be held accountable to the public. Perhaps the City should look to the strides Philadelphia has made. Prosecutors have publicly released a list of officers they could not have as witnesses based on their past serious misconduct. This would be a start in increasing transparency and accountability of the NYPD.

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RICO Prosecutions

The federal government vigorously prosecutes organized crime, and even criminal conduct not normally seen as “organized,” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. When people think of RICO violations and federal conspiracy charges, they most often think of the Mafia. Today, RICO charges are commonly levied against “legitimate” corporations and their senior management in an effort to pursue what the government sees as patterns of criminal activity. At The Blanch Law Firm, we are experienced in RICO violations defense. We offer the finely tuned, dedicated, and relentless legal defense against RICO violations and federal conspiracy charges originating from any of the following statutorily specified unlawful activities:

■Wire, mail, or securities fraud
■Embezzlement
■Falsifying ID documents
■Counterfeiting materials or currency
■Interference with commerce
■Racketeering (using extortion, loan sharking, bribery, or obstruction of justice to further illegal activities)
■Interstate Gambling
■Obstruction of Justice
■Felonious manufacture, import, export, or sale of obscene matter or controlled substance
■Trafficking in stolen property or contraband or untaxed cigarettes

If you are accused or suspected of a RICO violation or any federal conspiracy charge – or even suspect you might be — you should immediately call the Blanch Law Firm at 646-797-4790.

Money Laundering

Money Laundering is a crime that involves converting money or property gained from illegal activities into money that appears to have been legally earned.  Money laundering helps criminals of all kinds cover up the source of their funds, whether it be through embezzlement, selling drugs or fraud.  Money laundering has three steps:

■Placement- Illegal funds are introduced into the mainstream economy.
■Layering-The funds are then layered into legitimate funds, making there source difficult to trace.
■Integration-The funds are fully integrated into the economy, without a discernible source.

Within these general steps, there are a number of more specific schemes to launder money.  One of the most common is structuring, which entails depositing small amounts of illegal money into legitimate bank accounts.

Due to the large extent money laundering occurs in the U.S., the government has taken steps to crack down on this process.  Money Laundering is prohibited under the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986.  Individuals that help conceal money, avoid taxes or promote illegal activity through money laundering can be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a fine up to double the amount laundered.  In addition, to these penalties, prosecutors often charge launderers with tax evasion, conspiracy and other crimes that carry their own penalties.

Due to the complexity and seriousness of money laundering charges, a good defense attorney can be the difference decades years in prison and freedom.  If you have been charged with money laundering , contact the Blanch Law Firm immediately at 646-797-4790.

Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is defined in 18 USC 1343 as the use of “the wires” to commit or with intent to commit a scheme or artifice to defraud.  The elements of wire fraud directly compare to those of the mail fraud statute, but require the use of an interstate telephone call or electronic communication made in furtherance of the scheme.The key element placing this form of fraud into the purview of “wire fraud” is the use of interstate wire communications or other forms of facilitating communications, such as television, radio, microwaves, or the internet.

Like Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud also carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.  In addition, if the wire fraud is used in a way that affects a financial institution such as a bank, this maximum penalty goes up to 30 years imprisonment as well as a $1 million fine.  Also like Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud is commonly charged in combination with other white collar crimes such as bribery and bank fraud.

Due to the heavy penalties and large stakes associated with wire fraud charges, it is essential that you seek the expert advice offered by The Blanch Law Firm.  If you have been charged with wire fraud, contact the Blanch Law Firm immediately at 646-797-4790.

Mail Fraud

Mail Fraud is the oldest form of fraud statutorily regulated and prosecuted by the federal government. Statutorily regulated since 1872, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the authority of Congress to pass the statute.  The statute itself is defined in 18 USC Section 1341.  The law prohibits using the U.S. Postal Service or any private interstate delivery service to commit any “scheme or artifice to defraud”.  There are three elements to proving mail fraud: 1. Intent to defraud, 2. a scheme or artifice to defraud, and 3. use of a mail service.

Mail fraud has stiff penalties.  The law has a statutory maximum of 20 years imprisonment.  In practice, mail fraud is often charged in addition to other crimes.  In particular, securities fraud, health care fraud, money laundering and insurance fraud charges can often be complimented with mail fraud.  As a result, mail fraud convictions, which already have heavy penalties, can be made even worse when paired with other convictions.

Due to the seriousness and complexity of defending mail fraud charges, it is essential that you retain a seasoned and competent attorney.  At the Blanch Law Firm, we have years of experience and on-the-job knowledge that can ensure you will be provided the best possible defense.  So, if you have been charged with mail fraud, contact the Blanch Law Firm immediately at 646-797-4790.

Conspiracy

A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, so a natural person identified with the mind of a legal entity cannot conspire with the company alone. There is no limit on the number participating in the conspiracy and no requirement that any steps have been taken to put the plan into effect. Many federal statutes exist which criminalize certain agreements between two or more parties. However, the three most common are:

1. Title 18 U.S.C. § 371 – Two or more persons conspire to violate a federal law such as mail fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, or bank fraud.
2. Title 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) – Two or more persons conspire to launder monetary instruments or to engage in a monetary transaction derived from illegal activity.
3. Title 21 U.S.C. § 846- Two or more persons conspire to manufacture or possess with intent to deliver a controlled substance. In order to be convicted under 21 U.S.C. § 846, the government need not show that the defendant committed any obvious act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

If you have been charged with conspiracy, contact the Blanch Law Firm immediately at 646-797-4790.

White Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes are fraud, bankruptcy fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime, medical crime, public corruption, identity theft, environmental crime, pension fund crime, RICO crimes, consumer fraud, occupational crime, securities fraud, financial fraud, and forgery.  White collar crimes are generally non-violent in nature and are commonly committed by individuals without a criminal history.  White collar crimes are all financially motivated and as a result, often take place in a business or corporate context.  Due to the large amount of money at stake in white collar crimes, many of these charges can result in heavy fines and long prison sentences.

For individuals facing a grand jury, agency and corporate investigations, as well as possible prosecution, The Blanch Law Firm is experienced in the inner workings and organization of Federal and New York law enforcement agencies.  As trial lawyers we are particularly skilled in handling high profile and highly publicized matters for well-known individuals conducted by the Department of Justice and the local U.S. Attorney’s offices, the IRS, the FBI, the SEC, the EPA, the Department of HHS, and the Commodities Futures Trading commission.

The Blanch Law Firm concentrates much of its practice on defending white collar crimes of all types.  So, if you have been charged with a white collar crime, contact the Blanch Law Firm immediately at 646-797-4790.

Sex Crimes

Crimes such as rape, indecent exposure and sexual assault are a difficult area of the law. Virtually any person can claim that you have committed a sexual offense against them, and the police will automatically believe the accuser. Our extremely skilled attorneys know the law and are willing to aggressively advocate for our clients. We have successfully defended clients, and for many, we have been able to reduce, dismiss, and alter the charges levied against them, avoiding trial altogether. The Blanch Law Firm is familiar with a variety of sexual allegations, and has the experience in defending people charged with sex crimes such as:

■Indecent exposure
■Child molestation
■Obscenity
■Sex with a minor
■Possession of unlawful and/or child pornography
■Rape
■Date rape
■Statutory rape
■Spousal rape
■Lewd or Lascivious Conduct
■Sex Offender Registration
■Sexual assault or abuse
■Sexual battery

Punishments for sex-related crimes have increased significantly over the years. Long prison sentences and life-long sex registration requirements are just some of the consequences of being convicted of a sex crime in New York. If you been accused of a sex crime and need knowledgeable representation, call the Blanch Law Firm at 646-797-4790.

Homicide

Homicide is one of the most serious and violent crimes one can be accused of in New York. Depending upon the circumstances of the act and its severity, a homicide can be charged as first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, attempted murder or another offense.

New York Homicide Penalties

Penalties for homicide in New York are severe. Conviction of either murder in the first or second degree carry with them mandatory life sentences (with requisite parole possibilities). The death penalty can also be sought for homicide defendants in the State of New York.

New York Homicide Law

Homicide is the killing of one person by another. As common law, homicide is classified in three ways:

  • Justifiable homicide, which is commanded or authorized by law, such as the act of a police officer killing an armed suspect who is shooting at him;
  • Excusable homicide, for which there is a legal defense, such as the act of a person shooting an armed intruder in his own home, and;
  • Criminal homicide occurs when the perpetrator intentionally kills someone without legal justification, or accidentally kills someone as a consequence of reckless or grossly negligent conduct.

Serious New York Homicide Defense

Defense attorneys at The Blanch Law Firm have a strong and renowned track record for their defense of those facing homicide charges. Most famous among these results was the ‘Cop-shooter’, who was ruled insane on counts of attempted murder with representation by the attorneys of The Blanch Law Firm in 2007.

We’re excited to announce the addition to our felony defense team of Edward J. McQuat, Senior Trial Attorney & Former Chief of Narcotics Bureau in Syracuse, NY. Mr. McQuat is a solid addition to our team; he has won over 90% of his major felony trials.

We Can Help

People accused of homicide have the same rights as any other criminal defendant. At The Blanch Law Firm our attorneys are experience and have intimate knowledge of the criminal justice system. We have a proven, impressive track record of success.

Not all homicides are crimes, particularly when there is a lack of criminal intent. Non-criminal homicides include such things as killing in self-defense, hunting accidents, or a car accident where someone is killed, but there was no violation of the law, such as reckless driving or DUI.

Many times, arguing self-defense, insanity, or other affirmative defenses that may result in an acquittal can defend manslaughter or murder charges. As experienced homicide lawyers, we can provide you with the criminal defense you need to protect your freedom.

If you have been charged with murder, you need an experienced, knowledgeable and reliable defense – and you need it now.

Call the Blanch Law Firm at 646-797-4790.