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Brooklyn Criminal Law Blog

Former insurance broker receives 9-year prison term

A New York insurance broker from Albany has been sentenced for his role in a $1 million securities fraud case. The man entered guilty pleas to securities fraud, failing to file state income tax returns and grand larceny. He was sentenced to serve nine years in prison.

According to prosecutors, the man reportedly solicited more than $1 million from investors by promising high returns on their investments in the Saratoga Cheese Company. Instead of investing their money, the man allegedly diverted more than $600,000 to himself. The New York Attorney General's office stated that the man perpetrated the fraud from 2006 until 2012.

4 known gang members accused of murder

New York authorities say that four individuals believed to be involved in the MS-13 gang were taken into custody on March 2 for allegedly being involved in the murder of three teenagers. The teenagers were identified as a 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old girl in Brentwood as well as a male who was also believed to be an MS-13 gang member.

The 15-year-old's body was reportedly recovered on Sept. 13. The body of the 16-year-old was found a day later. Authorities stated that older girl had been "marked for death" after she allegedly had feuded with known members of the MS-13 gang. The other deceased teenager was reportedly killed after violating gang rules.

What the data says about crime in America

New York residents may be pleased to know that the crime rate in the United States has fallen dramatically in the last 25 years or so. According to an FBI survey of 18,000 jurisdictions, the number of serious crimes reported to police has dropped by half between 1993 and 2015. However, the FBI did report a 3 percent increase from 2014 to 2015, and another increase may be reported when 2016 data is released.

Property crime has decreased 48 percent in the period from 1993 to 2015 according to statistics from the FBI. Such crimes are thought to be more common than violent crimes, and they reportedly decreased from 2014 to 2015 despite the rise in violent crime. Overall, the crime rate tends to vary depending on location. For instance, there were 600 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Alaska and New Mexico.

Man accused of murdering 2 former colleagues

A New York man who was accused of murdering two former colleagues in cold blood was indicted on murder charges on Feb. 22. The man, age 32, had worked at the same loan business as the former colleagues until he left after a reportedly bitter dispute.

The incident occurred on Jan. 24 when the man allegedly walked into the company's back office. He reportedly then fired three shots at each of the men. Both men died at the scene. When questioned by his parole officer, he stated that he did not own a vehicle that was spotted nearby immediately after the incident, even though there was supposedly video showing him inside it. He was ultimately charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Man accused of murdering runner

On Feb. 6, it was reported that a New York man was charged in the death of a 30-year-old woman. The 20-year-old man was accused of strangling the woman as she was out jogging.

She was reportedly killed on Aug. 2. The woman had gone out solo for a run. Her father, who usually went with her but had stayed home due to an injury, reportedly found her body later the same day about 15 feet from the trail. It was determined that she had been beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted. DNA was reportedly taken from her body and belongings.

2 accused of $81 million ticket scam

On Jan. 27, it was reported that two men were facing charges after they were accused of scamming wealthy individuals who were interested in investing in New York ticket businesses. According to the report, authorities stated that the men enticed more than a dozen individuals to invest $81 million in the ticket businesses.

The ticket businesses would supposedly buy large blocks of tickets to popular shows, including the Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton" and several Adele concerts. However, the criminal complaint claims that the men ran a Ponzi scheme instead. Approximately $51 million of the investments were reportedly used to pay off earlier investors and to give the men personal funds.

Take these steps after an accident with a distracted driver

As you make your way down the road, do you ever take note of other drivers who are not paying attention to the task at hand?

While distracted driving doesn't always lead to an accident, it definitely increases the likelihood of something bad happening. Unfortunately, if you're in close proximity to a distracted driver, you could soon find yourself involved in a crash.

Educators, public officials have a lot to lose in DWI case

Anybody charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs has a lot to lose. For example, a conviction could lead to a loss of license, fine and imprisonment.

Taking this one step further, some people have more to lose than others. Educators and public officials, such as those who hold office, are often in the spotlight. For this reason, any arrest can have an immediate impact on their career and status in the community.

Kid in the car? 3 things to know about a DUI in NY and Leandra's Law

Maybe you took the family out for pizza and a few drinks, maybe there was a family reunion or a birthday party, whatever the cause a day celebrating with family could take a nasty turn if you get pulled over and accused of drunk driving.

What happens if a kid is in the car when you are charged with DWI in New York? New York takes allegations of drunk driving serious and applies harsh criminal penalties. These penalties are even more severe if a child under the age of 16 is present in the vehicle at the time of the charges.

Law enforcement lacks a reliable marijuana impairment test

The recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in New York, but police officers in the state still encounter drivers who appear to be under the influence of the drug on a regular basis, whether for allowed medical use or otherwise. There is currently no reliable way to determine whether or not a motorist is operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, and this is a source of serious concern for law enforcement agencies across the country.

Breath, blood and field sobriety tests have been used for years to establish intoxication in drunk driving cases, but they are of little or no use to prosecutors when marijuana and not alcohol impairment is suspected. High levels of alcohol in the blood have been scientifically linked with diminished driving skills, but elevated THC levels mean very little. THC can linger in the system for weeks after marijuana has been smoked, and even significant quantities of the metabolite may not be enough to establish impairment beyond any reasonable doubt.

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