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New York Penal Law § 190.45: Possession of Usurious Loan Records

New York Penal Law § 190.45 is a criminal statute that deals with the possession of usurious loan records. Usury refers to the illegal practice of charging high-interest rates on loans. This offense is often associated with loan sharks or unlicensed lenders who lend money at exorbitant interest rates. Under this law, a person is guilty of possession of usurious loan records when they possess any writing, document, or record that pertains to a usurious loan. The writing or record must be in the person's possession or under their control.

It's important to note that the statute does not require that the person be involved in the usurious loan or have any knowledge of the loan's usurious nature. The mere possession or control of the loan records is sufficient for the offense to be committed. In addition to the possession of usurious loan records, New York has several other usury-related offenses that are also illegal. For example, charging more than 25% interest on a loan to an individual is considered criminal usury.


People v. Weber, 46 Misc. 3d 1219(A) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. 2014). In this case, the defendant, a former employee of a payday loan company, was charged with possession of usurious loan records under New York Penal Law § 190.45. The defendant was accused of possessing loan records that contained information about loans that exceeded the maximum interest rate allowed under New York law. The defendant argued that she had not intentionally possessed the records and had only come into possession of them accidentally, but the court rejected this argument and upheld the defendant's conviction.

The court noted that the defendant had admitted to taking the loan records from her former employer's office and had kept them in her possession for several months. The court also found that the loan records contained evidence that the defendant had been involved in the processing of loans that exceeded the legal interest rate, despite her claim that she had not been aware of the usurious nature of the loans. The court ultimately held that the defendant had possessed the usurious loan records with the intent to use them to her advantage, and had thereby violated New York Penal Law § 190.45.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal usury in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 190.40
  2. Criminal usury in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 190.42

This offense is considered a class A misdemeanor in New York. A class A misdemeanor is a less serious offense than a felony, but it still carries significant penalties, including up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

New York Penal Law § 190.45: Possession of Usurious Loan Records

A person is guilty of possession of usurious loan records when, with knowledge of the contents thereof, he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article used to record criminally usurious transactions prohibited by section 190.40. Possession of usurious loan records is a class A misdemeanor.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are facing charges under New York Penal Law § 190.45 for possession of usurious loan records, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. Even though it’s a misdemeanor, being convicted of this crime can have severe consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and damage to your reputation. You will have a criminal record. An experienced New York criminal lawyer can help you build a strong defense and navigate the legal process. They can review the evidence, assess the validity of the charges, and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. Additionally, they can advise you on your legal options and rights throughout the process. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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