Buford, Ga. - According to reports out of Gwinnett County, a local woman in Buford was scammed by a man who claimed to be a dealership owner in Buford.
Investigators and officers are searching for the man as he allegedly lied to the woman about owning a dealership and has gotten away with taking her Cadillac Escalade without payment. He is facing a felony charge for theft by deception.
He allegedly had the woman fill out fake paperwork and took possession of her vehicle. He promised her that a check for the vehicle would arrive in the mail. He also has been accused of giving the woman a fake name. When officers learned his true identity, they discovered that he is also facing pending charges in DeKalb County for similar incidents.
In today's post, I will outline the law behind the offense of theft by deception.
Theft by Deception in Georgia
Theft by Deception in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-8-3 as:
A person commits the crime of theft by deception when he obtains property by any deceitful means or artful practice with the intention of depriving the owner of the property.
The law goes on to define what legally constitutes the term “deceive.” According to the law there are five different ways in which a person can deceive another intentionally:
Creates or confirms another's impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false;
Fails to correct a false impression of an existing or past even which he has previously created or confirmed;
Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved;
Sells or otherwise transfer or encumbers property intentionally failing to disclose a substantial valid known lien, adverse claim, or another legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether such impediment is or is not a matter of official record; or
Promises performance of services, which he does not intend to perform or knows, will not be performed.
To be convicted of theft by deception, the prosecution must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the State's job to prove that the accused made false representations, knowing that they were false, with the intent to deceive and defraud the victim, and, the victim relied on those representations when agreeing to part with their property.
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 deception. If the money or property is assessed at more than $500, then you will likely be charged with felony theft by deception.
A misdemeanor theft by deception conviction can result in up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $1,000 as well as restitution to the victim. A felony theft by deception conviction can result in up to ten years in prison.
It is important to note that just because a person has been accused of committing a criminal offense or because they have similar pending charges does not make them guilty of committing a crime. Every incident has two sides.
If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a crime in the state of Georgia, it is important to contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today. We can help you with your case now.