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NY Penal Law § 165.30: Fraudulent accosting

The crime of fraudulent accosting involves stopping someone in a public place in order to somehow trick or defraud that person. A common example is standing near a theatre or stadium and stopping someone in order to sell them counterfeit tickets to a show or event. Another example is the "three-card monte" con that involves 2 people conspiring to cheat the mark. Under New York Penal Law § 165.30 it is illegal to accost another person in public with the intent to defraud that person of property by trick, swindle or a confidence game. The property is usually money, but it can be any type of property.


In the case of People v. Watts, 2012 NY Slip Op 50957, (N.Y. Crim. Ct., 2012), defendant Rodney Watts was charged with fraudulent accosting based on offering to sell counterfeit tickets to a show. In a public area inside of a hotel Watts offered to sell 4 tickets to the Book of Mormon performance for $800. Watts provided 4 ticket numbers. The manager of the Book of Mormon confirmed that the ticket numbers provided by Watts were not genuine ticket numbers.

In the case of People v. Abbott, 107 A.D.3d 1152 (2013), defendant Roselyn Abbott spotted the car of an 89 year old woman in the parking lot of a grocery store. Abbott poured coffee under the woman's car. When the woman returned to her car, Abbott told her that it appeared as if her car needed to be repaired. With the help of her accomplices, Abbott was able to get the victim to pay for over $1000 in phony repairs. When the victim realized that no repairs were actually made to her vehicle, she contacted the police. Abbott was charged with fraudulent accosting.

Related Offenses
  1. Petit larceny: New York Penal Law § 155.25
  2. Grand larceny in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 155.30

The fraudulent accosting statute requires that you actually accost the victim. "Accosting" is defined as approaching or confronting another person. You may have a valid defense to a charge of fraudulent accosting if you did not approach the victim, but instead the victim first approached you. If you did indeed defraud the victim, you may face a criminal charge. However, if you did not accost the victim, that charge would likely not be fraudulent accosting.


Because fraudulent accosting is a Class A misdemeanor if you are convicted you could be sent to county jail for up to one year, and you may be required to pay a fine. It is also possible for the judge to sentence you to a probation term of 3 years.

New York Penal Law § 165.30: Fraudulent accosting
  1. A person is guilty of fraudulent accosting when he accosts a person in a public place with intent to defraud him of money or other property by means of a trick, swindle or confidence game.
  2. A person who, either at the time he accosts another in a public place or at some subsequent time or at some other place, makes statements to him or engages in conduct with respect to him of a kind commonly made or performed in the perpetration of a known type of confidence game, is presumed to intend to defraud such person of money or other property.
New York Fraudulent Accosting Lawyer

Even though fraudulent accosting is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still important to have experienced representation. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with crimes such as harassment, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, assault, and reckless endangerment. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations:

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