Rene Ballenas faces felony charges: Manhattan DA

By Cristina DC Pastor

Community leader Rene Ballenas is facing felony charges of burglary in the second degree and grand larceny in the third degree, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Felony charges are, by comparison to misdemeanors and violations, more serious.

“Burglary in the second degree” is a C felony that carries a term of anywhere from five to 15 years, a representative from the office of DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr., told The FilAm. “Grand larceny in the third degree” carries a penalty of anywhere from two years and a third to seven years.

By law, burglary is the act of entering a place unauthorized, but not necessarily removing things. Grand larceny, on the other hand, is when a certain amount of money and items of value are taken.

Press reports allege that Ballenas is accused of “taking more than $7,000 worth of valuables from the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation offices on East 38th Street.”

The criminal complaint states that on September 1, Ballenas “knowingly entered and remained unlawfully in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime therein; the defendant stole property and the value of the property exceeded three thousand dollars.”

The complaint further quotes from a witness who works for the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation: “She observed the defendant on video surveillance, inside of the foundation’s office while the office was closed, and that the defendant did remove several items of clothing from the office; over the last several months many items from the office went missing, including but not limited to shirts, iPads, toner, wine bottles and a purse; the defendant did not have permission or authority to take, possess or remove said items or to be inside of said location; and the value of the above-mentioned items is $7,250.”

Ballenas, according to the same complaint, “did obtain a copy of the foundation’s office key; had been taking things from the foundation for the past several months; and admitted to stealing shirts, ipads, toner, wine and a purse from the office.”

Ballenas’ lawyer said he has not seen a copy of his client’s statement conceding to the charges.

The beloved community leader has been released after posting bail of $5,000 in cash or $10,000 in bond. The FilAm learned Ballenas has been ordered to surrender his passport – usually an indication a defendant is a flight risk with the means and resources to leave the country to avoid prosecution.

Ballenas is scheduled to appear at a December 6 hearing where it will be determined if the grand jury – composed of 23 people — will vote to indict him. No indictment has been filed, only a criminal court complaint. At any point during the entire process, Ballenas may enter a plea, which he has not done yet.


  1. AG wrote:

    He is a community leader, a minority, in Liberal NY. I say we mobilize a demonstration of support, and cry “racism”. So what if he is an embarrassment to our community? So what if he was not born in the US? So what if he has no experience in governing? So what if he is proven to be a criminal? So what if he RUINS America?

    The Democrats will back him up. He can launch a campaign of terror against the rich and successful. The morning talk show crowd will LOVE him. The late night comedians will DESTROY whoever runs against him. He will be the DARLING of America. Filipinos will declare him ‘hero’. He will be legendary.

    Dont worry about his personal values. What’s important is that he has brown skin. He will be a “beloved” US President. Trust me. It has already happened once.

  2. […] Rene Ballenas is currently serving one year at Rikers Island after he pleaded guilty on March 5 to two counts of second degree grand larceny. His lawyer told The FilAm he could be out in eight months on good behavior. […]

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