Sec. 321. General Statement

In New York, it is criminal to obtain a signature by false pretense or to conspire to cheat and defraud another out of property. (Sec. 322-324.) Also to corrupt or to enter into unlawful agreements with agents. (Sec. 325.)

The New York statute is referred to in this chapter as indicative of what may be found in some other states.

Sec. 322. Obtaining Property By False Pretenses

Under the New York statute, "A person who, with intent to cheat or defraud another, designedly, by color or aid of a false token or writing, or other false pretense, obtains the signature of any person to a written instrument, is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for not more than three years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than three times the value of the money or property affected or obtained thereby, or by both such fine and imprisonment." 1 "Where an intent to defraud constitutes a part of a crime, it is not necessary to aver or prove an intent to defraud any particular person."2

Sec. 323. Compelling Execution Of Instrument

The New York statute also provides that "The compelling or inducing of another, by such force or threat, to make, subscribe, seal, execute, alter or destroy any valuable security, or instrument or writing affecting or intending to affect any cause of action or defense or any property is an extortion of property within the last two sections."3

1 N. T. Penal Law, Sec. 932.

2 N. Y. Peual Law, Sec. 3, subd. 5.

"Sec. 850. Extortion Defined. Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.

"Sec. 851. What Threats May Constitute Extortion. Fear, such as will constitute extortion, may be induced by a threat:

1. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened, or to any relative of his or to any member of his family; or

2. To accuse him, or any relative of his or any member of his family, of any crime; or,

3. To expose, or impute to him, or any of them, any deformity or disgrace; or,

4. To expose any secret affecting him or any of them. "Sec. 852. Punishment of Extortion. A person who extorts any money or other property from another, under circumstances not amounting to robbery, by means of force or a threat mentioned in the last two sections, is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years."4

Sec. 324. Definition And Punishment Of Conspiracy

A further provision of the New York statute is that "if two or more persons conspire * * * to cheat and defraud another out of property, by any means which are in themselves criminal, or which, if executed, would amount to a cheat, or to obtain money or any other property by false pretenses, * * * each of them is guilty of a misdemeanor."5 "No agreement except to commit a felony upon the person of another, or to commit arson or burglary, amounts to a conspiracy, unless some act beside such agreement be done to effect the object thereof, by one or more of the parties to such agreement."6

3 N. Y. Penal Law, Sec. 853.

4 N. Y. Penal Law, Sec. 850-852.

5N. Y. Penal Law, Sec. 580.

Sec. 325. Corrupt Influencing Of Agents. Unlawful Agreements Of Agents

In New York the statute also provides that "Whoever gives, offers or promises to an agent, employee or servant, any gift or gratuity whatever, without the knowledge and consent of the principal, employer or master of such agent, employee or servant, with intent to influence his action in relation to his principal's, employer's or master's business; or an agent, employee or servant, who without the knowledge and consent of his principal, employer or master, requests or accepts a gift or gratuity or a promise to make a gift or to do an act beneficial to himself, under an agreement or with an understanding that he shall act in any particular manner to his principal's, employer's or master's business; or an agent, employee or servant who, being authorized to procure materials, supplies or other articles either by purchase or contract for his principal, employer or master, or to employ service or labor for his principal, employer or master, receives directly or indirectly, for himself or for another, a commission, discount or bonus from the person who makes such sale or contract, or furnishes such materials, supplies or other articles, or from a person who renders such service or labor; and any person who gives or offers to such an agent, employee or servant such commission, discount or bonus shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars, or by such fine and by imprisonment for not more than one year."7

6 N. Y. Penal Law, Sec. 583. 7 N. Y. Penal Law, Sec. 439.