#ABKLaw BLOG by Michael Jaccarino: Career conman allegedly scams tourist out of 2k in Times Square. Was it a crime? Did he commit Grand Larceny?


Career conman allegedly scams tourist out of 2k in Times Square. Was it a crime? Did he commit Grand Larceny?

A homeless career conman with more than 65 prior arrests allegedly scammed two tourists out of $2,000 in Times Square on Thanksgiving, cops and sources said. 

The two 27-year-old tourists saw Elliot Brightman, 61, playing a shell game at Broadway and West 49th Street around 3:15 pm. Thursday when they decided to try their hand at it, authorities said. One of the women threw down $1,000 for Brightman’s game, which involved three bottle caps and a small ball on a table, cops said. 

The aim of this notorious game/scam is to try and keep an eye on the bottle cap with the ball underneath as the caps are moved around.

When she lost the round, Brightman urged her to play again and put in another $1,000 to win her money back. When her pal did so, the woman claimed that Brightman grabbed all of the cash and bolted, cops and sources said. 

Police caught up to Brightman a short time later after witnesses reported that they thought the women were in trouble. However, no money was recovered from him.  Brighton allegedly claimed they got the wrong guy.

He was later arraigned in criminal court and charged with grand larceny, fraudulent accosting, possession of a gambling device, and promoting gambling, cops and sources said.

So, the questions become:

Did they get the right guy? Are there any issues surrounding the suggestiveness of the identification?

Do they have enough to indict him?

What is required to prove larceny, and grand larceny, particularly in a situation such as this, when the tourists willingly turned their money over to the defendant.  It is important, for anyone charged with larceny and grand larceny, to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as those at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, P.C., who have decades and decades of criminal defense experience.

Grand Larceny

In New York, Grand larceny is taking someone’s property that has a value of $1000.00 or more without consent of the owner and the taker has the intent to deprive the owner of that property.

Grand larceny is on the rise not only in New York but across the country. According to the New York Penal code, larceny is defined as stealing the property of another person with the intent of depriving that person of such property. You can commit larceny in a number of different ways including by embezzlement, trick, lying, or extortion. Penal aw Section 155.05. Do the actions here amount to larceny?

Larceny arises to the more serious crime of grand larceny with stiffer penalties if the value of the property stolen exceeds $1,000. The theft will also be considered grand larceny if the type of property stolen makes the crime more serious, if the property is taken directly from the person of another, or if the property was obtained by extortion. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.30. If the value of the item stolen is under $1,000 then the crime of petit larceny would apply. If you have been charged with grand larceny it is important to speak with an experienced New York grand larceny lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. If convicted, the penalties for this crime are serious, so it is important not to delay. 

Source – New York Post


At Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, our criminal defense lawyers have a wealth of experience in both Federal and State Court, and have defended some of the most high profile cases in the country.  Contact us today if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges of any kind.

Michael Jaccarino, and the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, PC, have decades of experience. 

For more information or more fact-specific discussions, call our office and ask to speak with attorney Michael Jaccarino.


Our attorneys are in the New York City courthouses every day, experiencing the system in real time, and using the experiences to the benefit of our clients. Stay tuned to Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins for regular information on criminal justice, and how it could affect you or someone you know who has been arrested.

Call our office to learn more, or if you have a particular legal matter that requires immediate attention: 212-486-0011 or email us at Info@AidalaLaw.com