On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in drug trafficking on Friday, September 28, 2018.

If you are charged with selling, transporting or importing controlled substances in New York you can face severe financial penalties, a ruined reputation and imprisonment. A conviction may stay on your permanent record. At the Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLCC, our team has experience representing clients charged with drug crimes including possession and trafficking.

A felony drug charge can irrevocably change your life. You may lose your driver’s license and be disqualified for many types of jobs. According to FindLaw, the punishment for violating the drug trafficking and distribution laws varies, depending on the following:

Type of drugs involved
Quantity of drugs found
Geographic area of distribution
Whether children were targeted
If law enforcement officials believe you intend to sell the drugs they find, they could charge you with drug trafficking and distribution. This is a more serious crime that carries higher fines and a longer jail sentence than a possession charge. The laws address controlled substances, not just illegal drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin. Consequently, you may face drug distribution and trafficking charges for illegal possession of prescription drugs including pharmaceutical opiates and hydrocodone products such as sleeping pills and painkillers.

Distribution and use of controlled substances are governed by law and classified by different schedules. Statutes at both the federal and state levels address various components of drug crimes, including the minimum and maximum fines and jail terms. Depending on the classification of the drugs, you may get a longer prison sentence than a violent criminal. This makes court trials complex, expensive and often lengthy proceedings. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

By : First Page Attorney | September 28, 2018 | Drug Trafficking


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in federal crimes on Sunday, September 16, 2018.

As a New York taxpayer, you likely have a healthy respect for the Internal Revenue Service, if not an actual fear of this all-powerful governmental entity. You likely also do everything possible to make sure you file your taxes every year by April 15 and pay whatever taxes you owe.

Whether you compute your own taxes or hire a company to prepare them for you, however, you probably occasionally worry about what will happen if you or your tax preparer makes a mistake. Will the IRS charge you with tax evasion? As FindLaw explains, the answer is “no.” Tax evasion applies only to deliberate attempts you make to understate your income or overstate your deductions – and rests on the government’s ability to prove it.

Tax evasion examples

While numerous tax evasion examples exist, a mere calculation error is not one of them. Rather, the most common examples of tax evasion include the following:

Deliberately destroying your financial records
Concealing your income sources and amounts
Overstating your deductions
Filing a false tax return
Refusing to file your income tax return(s)
Holding assets in someone else’s name
Criminal conviction penalties

Should the IRS file criminal tax evasion charges against you, this is a serious matter indeed. Keep in mind, however, that the IRS carries the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you did indeed deliberately seek to evade paying the taxes you owed. Nevertheless, should it be successful in proving its allegations, a tax evasion conviction carries substantial penalties, including the following:

As many as 12 months in federal prison and no more than a $100,000 fine for each year you did not file a tax return
As many as three years in federal prison and a maximum $100,000 fine for filing a fraudulent return
As many as five years in federal prison and a maximum $100,000 fine for concealing or misrepresenting your financial information
As many as three years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine for failing to pay your taxes
It goes without saying that engaging in tax evasion schemes is, at best, highly risky. In addition, the IRS is under no statute of limitations should it wish to sue you civilly for tax evasion. While you cannot go to jail for losing a civil tax evasion suit, the IRS can virtually bankrupt you by demanding back tax amounts, penalties and fees should it prevail. This is educational information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

By : First Page Attorney | September 16, 2018 | Federal Crimes


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC on Monday, September 10, 2018.

In Harlem recently, a 37-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic who worked as a delivery person for Papa John’s was shot and killed as he rode his bicycle to the pizza shop.

The deliveryman was killed on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at approximately 10:30 p.m. His alleged attacker, 29, was arrested on Sept. 1 and charged with murder, assault, weapons charges and menacing. The Harlem man’s arraignment was scheduled for later that same day.

Nabbed with a warrant

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers with the Warrants squad picked up the defendant after someone identified him from the video. Although it remains unclear what directed police attention to the suspect, the two individuals had previously had an acrimonious relationship, it was reported.

Caught on tape

The video of the attack indicates that the deliveryman did not anticipate the shooter’s violence. He leisurely rides his bicycle up to the Papa John’s restaurant on Amsterdam Ave. at West 145th St. at about 10:30 p.m. He never sees the alleged shooter behind him as he dismounts from the bike. Police believe the shooter had been following his target on the street.

The video shows a couple of men confront him in the street as his leg swings off his bike. Then, a shadowy figure seems to extend an arm towards him right before he collapses onto the sidewalk underneath of the bicycle.

Emergency responders transported the mortally wounded man to Harlem Hospital. According to police, he succumbed to his injuries after arrival.

Clarity of evidence a factor in defense

Anyone who has ever viewed grainy surveillance video footage knows that it is often impossible to make out the action in the frame, let alone identify the alleged suspect in an attack. This is especially true when the recording takes place outside at night, with figures who are partially shrouded in shadows.

Without being privy to all of the evidence in this particular case, it’s impossible to judge the strength or weakness of the prosecution’s case against this specific defendant. However, it’s a good example of evidence that can definitely be challenged in court.

As evidence, eyewitness testimony is also notoriously unreliable and subjective. Police and prosecutors can “lead” a witness to “remember” things they supposedly saw that coincidentally dovetails with the details of the suspect they have already arrested.

Stalwart defense can lead to acquittal

It’s never possible to predict with any degree of accuracy how a jury will rule on any given case. But mounting evidentiary challenges and casting doubt on eyewitness recollections can plant the necessary seeds of doubt that may cause juries to find defendants not guilty of serious charges.

By : First Page Attorney | September 10, 2018 | Uncategorized


On behalf of Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC posted in federal crimes on Sunday, September 2, 2018.

If you face federal charges in New York for securities fraud, this represents a highly serious matter. If convicted, you could receive a life sentence in federal prison plus a fine of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. explains that financial fraud charges can cover a wide variety of specific crimes. One of the most notorious, however, is the Ponzi scheme, named for Charles Ponzi, a 1920s’ Italian immigrant who perpetrated a scheme involving international reply coupons.

The original Ponzi scheme

Prior to the advent of technology that allows people around the world to communicate with each other via email and cellphones, the only way someone had to keep in touch with his or her international friends or family members was via snail mail. In the 1920s, many letter senders enclosed an international reply coupon, a voucher for return postage.

These coupons formed the basis of Ponzi’s scheme. He bought large quantities of them in foreign countries where they cost less than in the United States. He then resold these coupons to his victims, promising them a 50 percent return on their “investment” within three months.

One of the hallmarks of any Ponzi scheme is that the initial investors do, in fact, make money. The farther down the investment chain any particular investor finds himself or herself, however, the less likelihood that (s)he will make a profit and the more likelihood that (s)he will lose his or her entire investment.

In Ponzi’s case, the problem quickly became the cost of running his business and supplying sufficient quantities of coupons to an ever-growing number of investors. Almost immediately, he began paying his original investors with the money he obtained from his second tier of investors rather than from coupon profits. Then he paid the second-tier investors with third-tier money, supposedly ad infinitum.

However, his false infinity quickly collapsed and the Feds busted him within a year. One of the clues in their investigation was the fact that only about 27,000 international reply coupons existed worldwide, but Ponzi’s supposed coupon sales represented over 160 million such coupons.

Later Ponzi schemers

Unfortunately, the allure of get-rich-quick schemes always attracts a surprisingly large number of people, even those who possess reasonable financial sophistication. Many schemers have followed in Ponzi’s wake. The most notorious schemer in recent years was Bernie Madoff, a highly respected NASDAQ trader with a hugely successful brokerage business. He ran his scheme for over 20 years before the Feds convicted him and sent him to federal prison for 150 years.

While this information is not legal advice, it can help you understand Ponzi schemes and the consequences thereof.

By : First Page Attorney | September 2, 2018 | Federal Crimes

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I am attorney Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., and my firm is located in downtown Brooklyn near the Borough Hall and Jay Street stops. The Law Office Of Scott G. Cerbin, Esq., PLLC, offers free initial consultations to individuals living within all five New York City boroughs. You can reach me at any hour of the day or night, regardless of the complexity of your issue.

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