As decided today.
We have considered and rejected defendant’s remaining arguments concerning the court’s charge. We similarly reject his claims that the statutes under which he was convicted were unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. None of these statutes was vague or overbroad on its face or as applied (see People v Shack, 86 NY2d 529, 538 ; Broadrick v Oklahoma, 413 US 601, 611-616 ). The People were required to prove that defendant had the specific fraudulent intent to deceive email recipients about his identity, and to obtain benefits or cause injuries as a result of the recipients’ reliance on that deception. The statutes criminalized the act of impersonation and its unlawful intent, not the content of speech falsely imputed to the victims.
The verdict was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence, with the exception of the identity theft conviction under the first count. The theory of that count was that in the commission of identity theft in the second degree (Penal Law § 190.79), defendant attempted to commit the felony of scheme to defraud in the first degree [*3](Penal Law § 190.65[b]). However, there was no evidence that defendant intended to defraud one or more persons of property in excess of $1,000 or that he attempted to do so (see id.). The People’s assertions in this regard rest on speculation.
Read the whole decision. Golb is guilty. Period. With thanks to Doug Iverson for telling me about it.
This is fascinating.
“Identity theft” seems a uniquely 21st-century crime, and is very common in the contemporary world. But in a new book, Prof. Miriam Eliav-Feldon of Tel Aviv University‘s Department of Historyobserves that identity theft and associated fraud have deep historical roots. From royal pretenders to women masquerading as men and those who resort to fraud to conceal their religious faith, history is brimming with stories of impostors. The battle between frauds and those who try to thwart them has been constant from the beginning of humanity, she says – and the battle is still going strong.
With so many frauds and impostors throughout the early modern period, the question of how and why they succeeded in their deception remains a mystery, notes Prof. Eliav-Feldon, who identifies it as one of the key issues of the phenomenon. The answer, she says, relies on a different notion of truth.
One example is the tale of David Reuveni, who in 1524 came to Venice and declared himself a prince of the lost tribes of Israel. Appearing before the Pope and various kings of Europe, he vowed to forge an alliance with European leaders to liberate the holy land from the Muslims. Despite the absence of proof, Jews and non-Jews alike rallied to his cause. It was years before his deception was uncovered.
Prof. Eliav-Feldon believes that Reuveni succeeded so well because kings and church prelates alike desperately wanted his tale to be true. “They wanted to believe that they had a potential ally — and were willing to suspend judgment because it fit their interests,” she explains. “Many impostors succeeded for a long time not because everybody believed them, but because they had no way of confirming they were impostors.”
Fascinating. People believe fraud not because they’re foolish- but because they wish the fraud to be true. This nicely explains why the purveyors of Talpiot, for example, continue to maintain its purported significance: they wish it to be so. The ‘Lead Codices’ sycophants wish it to be true. And on, and on.
Raphael Golb’s unending quest for absolution in the wake of his proven acts of deception and misrepresentation enters its next stage with his appeal. Bob Cargill has all the unsurprisingly neurotic and self-obsessed Golbian details.
via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill
In the trial of Raphael Golb-
A Manhattan jury tonight threw the good book at an Internet bully who stole identities of his dad’s scholarly rivals and waged a cyber crusade against them. The panel deliberated for less than five hours before convicting Raphael Golb, 50, on 31 of 32 counts of identity theft, criminal impersonation, forgery and harassment in targeting academic adversaries of his pop, noted Dead Sea Scrolls researcher Norman Golb. Jurors rejected Golb’s argument that he was only exercising First Amendment rights. Defense lawyer Ron Kuby slammed the decision, saying that prosecutors had made a mockery of intellectual freedom.
It’s actually Kuby and Golb who made a mockery of intellectual freedom, and integrity!
Sentencing is set for Nov. 18.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/jury_finds_dead_sea_scammer_found_CzKmfd6L1xONHyt84iSt9K#ixzz113dZa4dl
The WP reports this afternoon
Jurors in a Manhattan case are trying to decide whether a son posing online as a Judaic studies professor to avenge his father’s scholarly work was guilty of identity theft. … Assistant District Attorney John Bandler asked jurors Thursday to set aside the drama behind the case and focus on the evidence. He told them regardless of the details, impersonation is a crime. The case has exposed a world of bitter academic squabbling about the creators of ancient texts and dealt with contemporary notions of Internet privacy and online etiquette.
That last sentence sort of trivializes the issue. It isn’t mere squabbling over academic issues- it’s about pretending to be one person in order to persuade other people that the very person one pretends to be is a liar and a plagiarist. And that’s not trivial academic squabbling. Squabbling is what goes on at the SBL. This is quite different.
A Manhattan prosecutor has asked jurors to set aside the history and drama behind a forgery case involving the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, and focus on evidence that shows a lawyer and writer is guilty of identity theft. … Assistant District Attorney John Bandler said in closing statements Thursday the case could’ve involved anyone — two women fighting over a man or two co-workers who don’t get along. But no matter what, he said, impersonation is a crime.
Now the matter is in the hands of the jury. They will do the right thing and find him guilty.
The Associated Press reports
A New York lawyer denies he impersonated a Judaic studies professor and calls the allegation payback in a scholarly dispute over the Dead Sea Scrolls. Raphael Golb’s 2009 videotaped statement to authorities was played Monday at his Manhattan identity theft trial. … In the video, Raphael Golb denies sending the e-mails. He suggests Schiffman implicated him “out of maliciousness” toward his father.
Of course that’s nonsense and Golb’s lawyers have already admitted that he did it in order to attack Schiffman for his supposed plagiarism. So, Golb team, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that Golb did it to defend his father against supposed theft of ideas on the one hand and then on the other say he didn’t send fraudulent and misrepresenting emails.
When the trial is over and he’s found guilty, everyone will see the farce for what it was- an attempt to demean Schiffman and others in order to promote his father’s ideas. If his father’s ideas had any merit, they would be accepted. That they aren’t doesn’t give little Golb the right to lie.