False Statements Regarding Criminal History on a Job Application in New York

In People v. Papatonis (243 AD2d 898, 663 NYS2d 341 [3rd Dept 2009]), the defendant made a false entry on a job application by indicating that he had never been convicted of a felony. The court held that the grand jury evidence failed to establish that the employment application was kept or maintained for the purpose of evidencing or reflecting the condition or activity of the prospective employer. Notwithstanding that the application was presumably kept on file by the company, it was not a business record. In that case the court examined an employment application that contained false statements concerning the defendant Papatonis' criminal history. The application submitted by Papatonis was retained by his employer in its files. However, the court held that the employment application was nevertheless not part of the employer's "business records" for purposes of the Falsifying Business Records statute. The court explained that the purpose of the application was not to reflect the employer's condition and activities, but rather to help the defendant Papatonis get a job.