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Defendants Allege Unlawful Rent Increase


The charges arose from alleged unlawful rent increases obtained from the New York Temporary Housing Rent Commission by the defendant as one of the owners or managers of a rent controlled apartment house property in Mount Vernon, New York, by falsely stating, or by aiding, abetting and inducing the false statement, in a verified application, that he and they incurred stated expenses for the installation of certain kitchen equipment, which expenses were in excess of the actual cost and consequently false.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said as evidenced adduced showed that the tenants in question paid the excess increase in rents and thus parted with their property (money) in reliance upon the false statements made by the defendant and his co-owners to the Rent Commission. Under the Rent Control Law, the tenants and their landlords were not free to negotiate and adjust rents by direct action–the Rent Commission became the interceding agent for the tenant, who became virtually the ward of the Commission in the tenant-landlord relationship. It is clear from the evidence that defendant and his co-owner defendants had deliberately set out to exploit this pattern of protectorship, by means of the falsely inflated bill device supporting his and their applications for increases in rents.

Thus, by defrauding their tenants’ agent and protector, they accomplished their primary criminal objective of defrauding their tenants. Defendant knew that if he and his co-owners sent false bills to the Rent Commission it would act upon their applications as the assertion of honest claims against their tenants for increased rents. He further knew that if, upon review of the applications and the false supporting documents, the Commission approved same in reliance upon such false representations, it would do what he and they intended it to do, viz., issue the Orders for increases in the maximum legal rents, with which orders the tenants would comply; and indeed they did, and thereby parted with property they would not have otherwise parted with.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the defendant contends that the four counts charging him with the crime of conspiracy to commit the crimes of perjury, offering false or forged instruments for filing, grand larceny and forgery, are based on facts which are legally insufficient to constitute the crimes charged.

Defendant contends: 1. That the crimes he allegedly conspired with others to commit being insufficiently established as a matter of law, the conspiracy counts based on his having so conspired are necessarily also without factual and legal support; and 2. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said that the uncorroborated accomplice testimony on which these counts rest was legally incompetent to sustain the conspiracy counts.

As to the first contention, the court ruled the sufficiency in law of the counts charging perjury, grand larceny by false pretense and forgery having been herein sustained, the legal sufficiency of the conspiracy counts is likewise sustained as to those three categories of crime charged. As to the second count of Indictment No. 20416, charging violation of Section 2051, Penal Law, the court has determined that count to be insufficient in law, which must necessarily determine the conspiracy counts insufficient in law and they must be dismissed with respect to that crime only.

As to the second contention that the accomplice testimony against defendant was uncorroborated and therefore legally [41 Misc.2d 886] incompetent, the court stated that such testimony was corroborated by other and independent evidence tending to connect this defendant with the commission of the conspiracies charged.

The court found no merit in defendant’s final contention that the conspiracies, if any, took place in Bronx County where defendant had his office, and that the indictments charging conspiracy are therefore jurisdictionally defective. It is clear from the indictments and from the evidence before the Grand Jury that the overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracies charged were taken both in Bronx and Westchester Counties, and also that the conspiracies continued up to about July 1, 1961 when defendant and his co-owners conveyed title to the apartment property here involved.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that pursuant to Section 134 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, when a crime is committed partly in one county and partly in another, or the acts or effects thereof constituting or requisite to the consummation of the offense occur in two or more counties, the jurisdiction is in either county.

The Court having inspected the Minutes of the Grand Jury, and in view of the several determinations herein made, defendant’s motions to inspect the Minutes are denied. His motions to dismiss the indictments as insufficient in law are likewise denied, except that his motions to dismiss are granted as to the Second Count of Indictment No. 20416 (Violation of Section 2051, Penal Law), and also as to the Conspiracy Counts in Indictments Nos. 20416, 20418, 20419 and 20420, to the extent only that such counts charge conspiracy to commit the crime of offering false or forged instruments for filing or recording in violation of Section 2051, Penal Law.

Stephen Bilkis and Associates with its New York Grand Larceny Lawyers have expertise on cases similar to that tacked above. It has offices within New York Metropolitan area where you can visit to discuss the technical issues.

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