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New York DAs Push For Revamped Fraud, Corruption Laws

Vance: 'NY Needs To Catch Up With Realities Of Modern White Collar Crime'
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. (credit: Getty Images)

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. (credit: Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – District Attorneys from across New York State are calling for sweeping reforms to the state’s fraud and public corruption laws.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, members of the state White Collar Crime Task Force and officials with the District Attorneys Association of New York were at NYU on Tuesday to release their report.

The last comprehensive revision of the criminal law in New York State was 1965, Diamond reported.

“New York needs to catch up with the realities of modern white collar crime,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said. “We are using laws principally that were drafted in the mid-60s, the year after Xerox first invented the fax. And the only modernization we’ve had of those laws occurred in the mid-80s and that was still when the IBM PC was the new item and seven years before the invention of the world wide web.”

Vance and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice released the 102-page special task force report that recommends amendments to New York’s laws governing issues like cyber crimes and identity theft, elder abuse and public corruption.

“And I hope that our state legislature takes this report as a guide and as an opportunity to show the public that it can lead and not just obstruct the path to greater accountability,” Rice said.

The task force report recommends sentences in schemes to defraud should reflect the amount of money stolen.

“Whether you defraud your victims out of $2,000 or $2 billion, it is still the same level crime. The lowest-level felony in New York, a class E felony,” Manhattan chief assistant DA Daniel Alonso told Diamond.

The DAs say they’re hamstrung by the current statutes on the books.

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