A man approached the sitting executive director of the New York State Republican Committee. He told the executive director that he will expose the criminal acts and official misconduct by a high-ranking elective Republican official. He also said that he will consider keeping quiet if he was given the amount of $25,000 yearly and a job with the state government for three years.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said the executive director went to the police and reported the extortion attempt. The police then asked the executive director to set up a meeting with the man. When the meeting was set, the police hooked up a microphone for the executive director to wear. The executive director then asked the man to explain once more what he had proposed. The man’s extortion attempt was caught on audio tape recording. He was arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny in the second degree.
The man asked the trial court for leave to inspect the minutes of the Grand Jury minutes. He then filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground that the evidence submitted by the prosecutor was not legally sufficient to establish the elements of the crime of grand larceny.
The only question is whether or not the extortion attempt can be charged as attempted grand larceny.
The Court held that larceny is committed when a person who has an intent to deprive another of his property, takes, obtains or withholds the property from the owner. Extortion is committed when a person compels or induces another to deliver property and failure to deliver the property will result in the person accusing the other of a crime.
The Court found that the accused had tried to extort money and property from the executive director. The accused threatened the executive director that he would expose criminal acts committed by high-ranking Republican officials. A Bronx Criminal Lawyer said the threat was real and it would surely bring about public humiliation and even loss in the elections for the Republican party.
All the elements of the crime of grand larceny by means of extortion were all consummated but the crime was not produced because the executive director of the Republican party in New York went to the police.
The extortion was completed when the accused uttered the threats and when he made the demands against the executive director. The only thing that was not committed was the actual taking of the property because instead of giving the accused what he wanted (the $25,000 he demanded and the job with the New York state government), the executive director reported the extortion attempt to the police.
The property that the accused wanted to take may not have belonged to the executive director himself but it belonged to the Republican Party which the executive director heads. The job he demanded was also a property of the state of New York. A sitting Republican governor has within his power to appoint and hire employees of the state government. And the state of New York will have to pay a salary to the appointed employee even if he does no work to merit the payment of a salary. Clearly, the element of taking property belonging to another was also present.
The indictment was clearly worded and it alleged all the facts necessary for the accused to understand the nature of the charge against him so that he can defend himself. The evidence submitted by the prosecutor to the Grand Jury was sufficient to support the indictment for grand larceny in the second degree.
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