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Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree – New York Penal Law 175.10

January 30, 2019

All businesses must keep careful records. Business owners need to keep records pertaining to varied aspects of their daily, weekly, monthly and yearly business activities. They need to keep track of employee activities, vendor sales, tax records and all laws that may pertain to their specific area of specialty such as finance or food service. Any company with offices in New York or interacting with companies based in New York must meet the standards for record keeping set down by the state. This means keeping careful track of highly specific data such as business phone calls and all data pertaining to any form of sales. Keeping track of such data is an ideal way to run a business. It is also a requirement under the laws of New York state. Business owners who do not meet such standards may be charged with violating the laws governing the maintenance and submission of such records to legal authorities.

Falsifying Business Records

Nearly all business owners keep highly details records both for their own knowledge and because it is required by state laws. However, it is possible to make small mistakes now and then. It is also possible for the business owner to deliberately falsify certain records pertaining to their business. A business partner may also choose to engage in this form of fraud without the other party knowing about it. Records that are being falsified can happen in two different ways. It is important to be aware of both possibilities, especially in the event of possible legal charges by New York state officials. In New York, there are two possible forms of legal charges pertaining to deliberately falsifying business records.

The First or Second Degree

A person may be accused of falsifying records in the first degree or the second degree. A charge of falsifying records in the first degree means that the person made business entry records that they knew were false deliberately. It can also mean that the person altered business records deliberately or choose to omit important information from those records. A person may also be accused of this crime if they made any kind of false statements about these records to their co-workers or to a boss.

The person can be accused of engaging in falsifying business records in the first degree under New York state laws. The first degree charge is an accusation that the person deliberately did so in order to cover up an additional crime they committed. For example, someone may have embezzled. In order to attempt to cover up the amount of money they stole, they may have deliberately under counted the amount of money given to them from a company vendor. These records are needed because they are used by government officials to keep track of matters such as how money the company owes in taxes. Such records are also used in other matters such as determining if someone qualifies for social security disability payments, housing assistance or food stamps. If the company is allowing people to work off the books by not recording their work, company officials can be charged under this law, especially if done in order to cover up other illegal activities such as gambling or prostitution.

A conviction of falsifying business records in the second degree is a serious charge. It is a felony. As such, people who are convicted of this crime may face fines as well as the very real possibility of jail time. They can barred from entering certain professions and may the possibility of losing a license from the state they rely on for income. This is why it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to fight these charges. A person may have simply done their job only to find out the information being given to them was false. The boss may have given the lower level employee explicit instructions to falsify such records or threaten to fire them. There are all sorts of mitigating possibilities that can lead to an effective defense. Good legal counsel can help anyone explore such avenues and make sure their voices are heard in court and that all necessary legal procedures are followed.



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