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Brooklyn Criminal Law Blog

Man accused of stealing deeds to six homes, including mansion

On May 9, a New York man was indicted on multiple fraud charges. According to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, the 36-year-old was accused of stealing six house titles that belonged to owners that had died or abandoned their properties.

Investigators reportedly became aware of suspicious activity in 2015 when a man posed as a deceased property owner in order to transfer the deed of a landmarked mansion to the accused party. The owner of the property, located on the 100 block of Washington Park, had passed away, but his elderly sister had continued to live in the home. She contacted investigators after receiving an eviction notice. They discovered that the same man had attempted to procure the deeds of five other properties using similar identity-theft scams.

Man killed near public housing complex

New York officials reported that a parolee was killed on May 16 just a block away from he killed someone 17 years ago. Authorities said that there had not been a single homicide or shooting since 2015 at this particular location, which used to be riddled with crime.

The incident occurred on May 15 at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City at about 4:40 p.m.. This public housing development consists of 96 buildings, making it the largest of its kind in the United States. According to authorities, it appeared that two gunmen were arguing with the parolee before shooting him in the chest. The 38-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery, but he did not survive and was pronounced dead at 5:30 a.m. the following morning.

New York's highest court upholds controversial DWI rules

The New York State Court of Appeals voted unanimously on May 9 to uphold controversial rules that allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to permanently revoke the driving privileges of repeat drunk drivers. The 5-0 vote by the state's highest court brings a contentious lawsuit filed by three New York residents to an end. More than 13,600 applications for the reinstatement of driving privileges have been declined by the DMV commissioner since the rules went into effect in 2012 according to figures released by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The judges concluded that the rules fell within the DMV's area of expertise and rejected the plaintiffs' arguments that they had been applied improperly. The governor referred to the decision as unequivocal and good news for road users in a press statement. The regulations make New York's drunk driving rules some of the toughest in the country for repeat offenders.

Interlock laws and alcohol-related crashes

Drivers in New York may be interested in a recent study conducted by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The results of the study show that state laws mandating the use of ignition interlocks for individuals convicted of drunk driving offenses are a significant factor in the reduction drunk driving crashes that cause fatalities.

The study showed that there was a link between required interlock laws and a 7 percent decrease in fatal vehicles crashes that involved at least one driver who had blood alcohol levels beyond the legal limit. The rate reduction indicates that since 1993, when the first of the laws were passed, approximately 1,250 fatal crashes have been prevented in states with compulsory interlock laws.

Why do slip-and-fall accidents occur indoors?

As a pedestrian, you need to keep a close eye on what’s going on around you. For example, if you’re walking outdoors, you should be aware of vehicles in close proximity.

However, just because you move indoors it doesn’t mean that you are any more safe. In fact, there are a variety of reasons why people are injured in an indoor slip-and-fall accident.

New York authorities target fraudulent tax preparers

Responding to evidence gathered by the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, the attorney general pressed charges against two women accused of filing tax returns with false information. Authorities arrested the women, ages 33 and 34, of New York City and the Bronx, respectively, after they allegedly added fictitious nieces and nephews as dependents to tax returns in order to qualify for higher tax refunds.

The Albany City Court oversaw the arraignments of the women who both worked as registered tax preparers. They faced felony charges of attempted grand larceny, grand larceny and filing false information on tax returns.

Man accused of fatally stabbing black man

It was reported on March 22 that a 28-year-old man was taken into custody after he was accused of fatally stabbing another man. The accused man, who traveled from Baltimore, reportedly told authorities that he committed the stabbing because he hated black men.

The fatal stabbing occurred on March 20. The victim was identified as a 66-year-old black man after he entered a police precinct bleeding from multiple stab wounds. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities released a surveillance video and a picture of the person accused of committing the crime. The man then turned himself in to the New York City Police Department after seeing the images.

Hells Angel accused of drug possession and weapons crimes

On March 23, New York police took a Hells Angel into custody after they recovered cocaine, $3,000 in cash and a handgun during a traffic stop. The 37-year-old Ossining resident was pulled over after police observed him driving recklessly.

The traffic occurred at about 2:50 a.m. near the West 14th Street and 6th Avenue intersection. Police determined that the man had three active warrants out for his arrest. As such, they took him into custody. During the incident, the accused man told authorities that he had a gun in his 2008 Cadillac DTS. The vehicle was towed to the 6th Precinct. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities found two vials of cocaine, the cash and the handgun. Additionally they also found a fake New York transit authority placard.

New York man allegedly funds gambling with Ponzi scheme

A 51-year-old man from Oceanside faces the possibility of decades in prison if convicted of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy charges stemming from his alleged Ponzi scheme. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York worked in partnership with the Nassau County District Attorney's Office to investigate the man's activities over several years. Their findings indicate that he used investors' money to finance his gambling and otherwise enrich himself.

According to authorities, he convinced over 80 people to invest approximately $13.1 million in his jewelry companies. Investors believed that their large sums of money would earn high returns at the end of a fixed term. The man allegedly told them that he would buy gold and other valuables for refinement and jewelry making. Investigators assert that he never purchased any materials. Instead, he appeared to be paying investors with money from new investors, which represents a classic Ponzi scheme.

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