Right now, authorities are searching for a suspect in Gwinnett County who has been accused of “scamming” at least two people out of $17,000.
According to reports, a local roofer is wanted on several theft charges after not completing several jobs. With one of the alleged victims, the suspect convinced her to sign over an insurance claim check in order to pay for materials and complete the job. However, he never returned to actually do the job and cut off all contact. Other victims report similar situations.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am familiar with the various types of theft in the state of Georgia. Most Georgians, however, are not that familiar with the number of thefts there actually are according to our law. Most people believe that when theft is mentioned the reference is theft by taking in Georgia. In this case, the type of theft is actually theft by conversion which I will cover below.
Theft by Conversion in Georgia
Theft by Conversion in Georgia is defined in the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. § 16-8-4 as:
A person commits the crime of theft by conversion when, having lawfully obtained funds or other property of another including, but not limited to, leased or rented personal property, under an agreement or other known legal obligation to make a specified application of such funds or a specific disposition of such property, he knowingly converts the funds or property to his own use in violation of the agreement or legal obligation.
As with other theft crimes, whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the value of the money or property stolen. If the property stolen is valued at less than $500, then you will be charged with misdemeanor theft by conversion. On the other hand, if the money or property is assessed at more than $500, you will likely be facing felony charges. A judge has the discretion to deem a crime a misdemeanor, even if it the money or property converted was over $500.
The penalty for a misdemeanor charge of theft by conversion includes a fine of no more than $1,000 and a sentence of no more than 12 months confinement.
The penalty for a felony charge of theft by conversion includes a prison term of one to ten years.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help you now.