Former Manhattan prosecutors specializing in criminal defense and civil rights in state and federal courts.

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Offenses Involving False Written Statements

The offenses in Article 175 are mostly designed to cover any falsification or alteration of records kept by a business entity designed to evidence or reflect its activity.

Key Provisions and Definitions

  • Falsifying business records in the second degree, PL 175.05, a class A misdemeanor
  • Falsifying business records in the first degree, PL 175.10, a class E felony
  • Tampering with public records in the second degree, PL 175.20, a class A misdemeanor
  • Tampering with public records in the first degree, PL 175.25, a class D felony
  • Offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree, PL 175.30, a class A misdemeanor
  • Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, PL 175.35, a class E felony
  • Issuing a false certificate, PL 175.40, a class E felony
  • Issuing a false financial statement, PL 175.45, a class A misdemeanor

The two provisions in the Penal Law can and have been designed to capture myriad factual scenarios or instances of alleged wrongdoing on the part of officers or employees of corporations or other business associations. The base offense deals with various actions taken with respect to entries in business records. It is a crime, for example, to make a false entry, or purposefully alter or erase a valid one with the intent to defraud. PL 175.05. The charge is enhanced if the making or alteration of the entry was done in furtherance of the commission or concealment of another crime. PL 175.10.