The New York Criminal Law Blog

October 2011 Archives

LIRR Pension Fraud: 11 Charged

Eleven people, including former union chief Joseph Rutigliano, are facing criminal charges for the $1 billion LIRR pension fraud.

The defendants are accused of organizing a massive pension scam involving fake disability claims by Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) workers. These fraudulent claims cost the agency $1 billion, reports the New York Post.

Teen Arrested in Queens Sex Assaults

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested for the Queens sex assaults that had terrorized the community in recent weeks.

The unidentified suspect has been charged as an adult for rape and sexual abuse in connection with two attacks, reports the New York Post.

Barbara Sheehan Bail Saga; Acquitted of Murder, Remains In Jail

The Barbara Sheehan bail saga continues. Sheehan was acquitted of murdering her husband last week thanks to the battered woman’s defense. However, she was convicted of gun charges and will remain in jail despite her appeal, as her family has run out of money to pay bail.

Sheehan successfully defended the killing of her husband as self-defense, arguing that years of abuse had made her fearful for her life, reports PIX11. But as she used her husband’s gun in the killing, she was convicted of felony gun charges and could face up to 15 years in jail.

A protestor wants criminal charges against the NYPD for an alleged Occupy Wall Street assault by the NYPD. Prosecutors are looking into it.

Kaylee Dedrick is a 24-year-old teacher's aide from Manhattan, reports the New York Post. The young woman decided to engage in her civil rights by protesting Wall Street corruption and greed during the Occupy Wall Street Protest.

Self-Defense in McDonald's Assault?

If you just saw the last 30 seconds of the videotaped McDonald’s assault, you’d think the assailant deserves the most severe criminal penalties.

The male McDonald’s cashier is shown repeatedly beating two women customers with a metal rod as witnesses begged him to stop. The assailant, 31-year-old Rayon McIntosh, beat the women at least ten times while his victims were clearly defenseless. Both women were hospitalized with serious injuries. One had a fractured skull and broken arm, while the other suffered deep lacerations, reports CNN.

Raj Rajaratnam Sentence: 11 Years, $10M

The Raj Rajaratnam sentence was finally determined. The co-founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund was sentenced to 11 years in jail. In addition, the 54-year old Sri Lankan native will have to pay a $10 million fine.

Rajaratnam was accused of one of the biggest insider trading scandals ever, reports the New York Post. And in May, the head of the Galleon Group was convicted of five counts of conspiracy and nine counts of insider trading.

No Bail for Saudi Ambassador Assassination Plot

Manssor Arbabsiar stands accused of the Saudi ambassador assassination plot. Yesterday, a judge denied bail for the alleged terrorist.

Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old United States citizen, is accused of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. by setting off explosives at a restaurant, reports the Associated Press. Arbabsiar holds an Iranian passport and has admitted to a role in the $1.5 million plot.

iGotYa: Smart Phone or Dumb Criminal?

An alleged Queens thief was arrested after the iPhone he stole secretly took his picture and emailed it back to the phone’s owners. The iPhone theft app, iGotYa, is being credited with nabbing the suspected thief and returning the phone to the rightful owner.

Brian Chattoo, 23, is accused of stealing the iPhone 4 after bumping into his 31-year-old victim on Liberty Avenue, reports the New York Post. Unbeknown to the thief, the iPhone was equipped with a $5.99 app called iGotYa. The app snaps a picture of the phone’s user when an incorrect password is entered into the phone.

Attorney Smuggled Drugs to Cameron Douglas in Jail

Serving time for his own drug conviction, Cameron Douglas, the son of actor Michael Douglas, testified in the trial of his alleged drug suppliers and also revealed tawdry tales of what he had with his defense attorney, Jennifer Ridha, while in jail.

Currently, Douglas is serving time in a Pennsylvania prison for a narcotics trafficking conviction, reports the New York Post. He was temporarily released to testify against David Escalera, who is accused of supplying Douglas with pounds of crystal meth between 2006 and 2009. During his four hours on the witness stand, Douglas described his own struggles with drugs and also the strange relationship that he had with Ridha during his trial and subsequent imprisonment.

Michael Dowd and New York's Battered Woman Defense

Barbara Sheehan claims that she shot her husband 11 times in self-defense. Minutes before killing her husband, Mrs. Sheehan was surfing the web on travel bargains and celebrity couples. Her husband was shaving in the bathroom. Prosecutors argue this was hardly the situation warranting deadly self-defense, but to Barbara Sheehan's attorney, Michael Dowd, the woman feared for her life even under these ostensibly calm circumstances, arguing the battered woman defense.

In a piece about Michael Dowd, The New York Times put the spotlight on one of the leading defenders of abused women and one of the pioneers of the battered woman defense.