Presentation on theme: "Crimes Against Property"— Presentation transcript:
1 Crimes Against Property Chapter ElevenCrimes Against Property
2 Chapter Eleven: Learning Objectives Know that crimes against other people’s property are of three types: taking property, damaging or destroying property, and invading property.Understand that the crime of theft grew out of the general social concern with violent crimes against persons.Know that the federal mail fraud statute defines false pretenses much more broadly than common law fraud.
3 Learning ObjectivesKnow that it’s illegal to receive stolen property only if you intend to keep it permanently.Appreciate that the heart of robbery is the use of actual or threatened force to obtain someone else’s property right now.Understand that extortion differs from robbery in that the threat is to use force some time in the future.Know that arson is a felony; criminal mischief is a misdemeanor.
4 Learning ObjectivesUnderstand that the heart of both burglary and criminal trespass is invading other people’s property, not taking, destroying, or damaging it.Understand that criminal trespass used to be limited to unauthorized invasions of physical property, but now it includes unauthorized access to electronic information systems.Know that identity theft is the most prevalent crime in the United States.Appreciate that intellectual property theft results in billions of dollars in losses each
5 Categories of Crimes Against Property 3 Primary TypesTaking other people’s propertyTheftRobberyFraudReceiving stolen propertyDamaging or destroying other people’s propertyArsonCriminal mischiefInvading other people’s propertyBurglaryCriminal trespassCybercrimeNew ways of committing crimes against property
6 Larceny Oldest form of property crime Stealing with stealth Common law larceny elementsTakingCarrying awayProperty of anotherWithout consent and without knowledgeIntent to deprive victim of possession
7 LarcenyOnly covered cases where person unlawfully took property of victim, didn’t cover cases where victim gave the property to the offender (who then didn’t give it back)
8 Larceny Tangible property Intangible property Personal property like jewelryIntangible propertyPaper worth nothing in itself, but is proof of something of valueStocksBondsPromissory notes
9 EmbezzlementCrime filled in gaps as society became more industrializedDirected at breaches of trustInvolves person who was in lawful possession of property unlawfully converting it to their own use (making it theirs)Originally directed at bank clerks and other bailees (people who are entrusted property) it has been the cornerstone of abuse of trust/white collar crimes
10 False PretensesDeceiving others into giving up ownership (not just possession) of their propertyActus reus: deceivingLarceny = takingEmbezzlement = convertingFalse Pretenses = deceivingDeception requires lying to another in order to get the ownership of their propertyCommon law false pretenses was originally common law fraud (misdemeanor)
11 Larceny and TheftMost states have consolidated the common law crimes of larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses into one offense—TheftConsolidated theft statutesEliminates need to separate theft into distinct offenses based upon the nature of actus reus.Theft actus reus = taking, carrying away, converting, swindling
12 Theft Theft mens rea Purposely, knowingly, intentionally Acquiring someone else’s propertyIn order to permanently deprive the owner of his or her possession
13 People v. Olivio/Gasparik/Spatzier (1981) Summary of case holding Shoplifters do not need to leave the store to be guilty of larceny. Shoplifters treat merchandise in a manner inconsistent with the owner’s continued rights without walking out of the store.The taking of property in the self-service store context can be established by evidence that a customer exercised control over merchandise wholly inconsistent with the store’s continued rights.
14 Federal Mail FraudFederal Mail Fraud statute defines false pretenses more broadly than common law fraud.Using the mail to perpetuate a scheme to defraud or for obtaining money or propertyUsed by government to deal with Ponzi schemesSchemers tell investors they’re buying assets like real estate, stocks, etc, but they aren’t They use the money to pay earlier investors…Huge increase in the amount of ponzi schemes and their prosecutionsFinancial circumstances of last two years has caused many of these to collapse and come to attention of authorities
15 Federal Mail Fraud (continued) Thefts, frauds, swindles are both criminal wrongs and civil wrongsU.S. v. Coughlin highlights differences in handling these actions in civil system and criminal system
16 US v. Coughlin/U.S. v. 340 St. Bees Drive (2008/2009) Criminal/Civil Summary of case holdings Opinion in criminal case: jury acquitted Coughlin on 3 counts of mail fraud, and hung on the other counts including on charge of making a false claim to victims compensation fund. (apparently they found him to be believable/credible witness)Civil case: court held that there was probable cause to believe that Coughlin submitted false written statements and made material misrepresentations to the VCF in order to obtain funds to which he was not entitled….court let case continue.
17 Robbery Robbery is the combined crimes of theft and assault Theft is accomplished under force or threat of forceActus Reus: use of force or threat of force to take property of anotherHow much force is necessary to accomplish robberyJust enough force to accomplish the takingAny amount of force beyond that necessary to accomplish the takingPick pocketing isn’t robbery because there is no force or threat of force, person doesn’t realize their property is being taken
18 State v. Curley (1997) Summary of case holding Although we have cases saying that even slight amount of force is sufficient (Minority Rule – Massachusetts), we also have cases in which a taking of property from the person of a victim has not been held to be robberyAdhered to majority ruleRobbery is committed when attached property is snatched or grabbed by sufficient force so as to overcome “the resistance of attachment”.
19 Summary of case holding The court explored the matter of “the resistance of attachment”:The concept should be construed in light of the idea that robbery is an offense against the person, and something about that offense should reflect the increased danger to the person that robbery involves (over the offense of larceny)Not aware…no resistance offeredAware…resists, and thief struggles to separate from owner
20 Extortion Theft by threats of future harm Extortion differs from robbery in that the threatened harm is to occur at some later point where in robbery the threatened harm is to occur nowExtortion mens rea:Specific intent to take someone else’s property by means of threatExtortion actus reus:Wide range of threats by which taking of property is accomplished
21 Extortion Extortion (Model Penal Code): Threats can be indirect Threats don’t have to involve victim, can be harm toward another personThreats don’t have to involve physical injury, can involve exposing someone to shame or ridicule
22 Receiving Stolen Property Actus reusReceiving the propertyMens reaVaries amongst the statesSome states require the receiver know the property is stolenSome states its enough if receiver believe goods were stolenLook at circumstances surrounding to determine whether the person knew or should have known that the goods were stolen
23 Receiving Stole Property (continued) Mens rea (continued)Some states require receivers be reckless or negligent about whether the property was stolenDisregarded the risk that it was stolenWere unaware of the risk that it was stolen but should have been aware of the riskReceivers have to intend to keep the property permanently
24 Sonnier v. State (1992) Summary of case holding Texas law requires that receiver knew that property was stolenLooked at all the circumstances of the case and concluded that state did not produce sufficient evidence to prove that defendant knew that the stereo speakers were stolen.
25 ArsonCommon Law ArsonMalicious and willful burning of the house or outhouse of anotherBurningFire had to reach the structure but did not have to burn downOf anotherAt common law, it was not a crime to burn down your own homeDwellingHad to be a place of residence
26 Arson Modern Arson Includes all types of buildings, vessel, vehicle Property doesn’t have to be another’sCrime against possession and occupancy not just ownershipBurning requirements have been relaxed:Starting a fire, even if it never touches the structureIncludes explosions
27 Arson (continued) Arson actus reus: Arson mens rea: “Burning” Williams v. State (1992)Only physical damage caused by fire was smoke throughout house, but under statute, it was sufficient for arsonArson mens rea:Common law (many states follow it)Malicious and willful burningGeneral intentIntent to set afire (not the intent to burn down the building)
28 Arson (continued) Degrees of Arson Model Penal Code First Degree Burning homes or occupied structures where there is danger to human lifeSecond degreeBurning unoccupied structures, vehicles and boatsModel Penal CodeDivides arson degrees based on blameworthinessIntend to destroy the buildings (not just set fire) = First DegreeIntend to just set fire = Second degree
29 Criminal Mischief Common law crime of malicious mischief Modern law Misdemeanor (Felony Levels in NYS)Destroying or damaging tangible propertyModern lawThree types of criminal mischief:Destroying or damaging property by fire, explosive or other dangerous actTampering with tangible propertyDeception or threat that causes someone to suffer monetary loss
30 Criminal Mischief (continued) Actus reus:Mirrors the three types of modern criminal mischiefMens rea:Statutes vary greatlySome statutes contain all the Model Penal Code mental statesGradingBased on mental stateBased on value of propertyBased on nature of property destroyed
31 Commonwealth v. Mitchell (1993) Summary of case holding Evidence was sufficient to show that defendants intentionally spray painted graffiti on walls of building and that was factually sufficient to support a conviction, under Pennsylvania law, for criminal mischief.The court also focused on legislative intent to apply the Sections independently…using the term “or”…as well as the level of intent…reckless or negligent
32 Burglary Common Law Burglary Breaking and entering Dwelling place Of anotherAt nightWith intent to commit a felony therein
33 Burglary (continued) Modern Burglary Not just homes, now includes all kinds of structures and storesDay or nightDoesn’t have to be the property of anotherBreaking and entering requirement has been relaxed and now includes entering and remaining unlawfully (surreptitious remaining)
34 Jewell v. State (1996) Summary of case holding The burglary statute’s requirement that the dwelling be that “of another person” was satisfied by evidence that Jewell’s entry was unlawful.Although Jewell may previously have had some property interest in the marital property, he nevertheless burglarized the home when he entered to commit crimes against his estranged wife and her boyfriend (Wife purchased the house before the marriage, marriage was in dissolution, he moved out, locks were changed, and he forcibly entered through a window)
35 Burglary (continued) Mens rea Specific intent Two elements Intent to commit the breaking and entering or remainingIntent to commit a crime once inside the structure broken intoNote: Statutes vary state to state - some say intend to commit theft, some say intend to commit a felony, some say intent to commit a crime (very general) therein
36 Burglary (continued)Don’t have to complete the crime that you intended once you get insideDegrees of BurglaryVaries among statesNature of structure enteredWhether person was armed when enteredNature of crime intended upon entry
37 Criminal Trespass Broader and less serious than burglary Not limited to occupied buildingsNo intent to commit crime in addition to the trespassActus reus:Unlawful enteringUnlawful remainingHeart of crime is unwanted presenceMens ReaVariesKnowingly enters without authority, specific intent to enter without authority, strict liability for entering without authority
38 Cybercrimes Identity Theft Crime committed most often in U.S. Huge costs in terms of time and money for victimMotivations for stealing identity not limited to financial motivesDifficulty in apprehending
39 Remsburg v Docusearch, Inc. Summary of case holding Because of potential risks of misconduct, an investigator must exercise reasonable care in disclosing a information concerning a third person to a clientCause of action exists for person who had information disclosed that they expected would remain private (Social Security Number, but not name and address)Person who obtains a person’s work address by means of pretextual phone calling and then sells the information may be liable (there is cause of action)
40 Intellectual Property Theft Intellectual property = person’s ideas and their practical application (copyright, patents, trademarks, etc)Intellectual Property is theft costlyUnreported or undetectedVocabulary specific to how Intellectual Property theft occursRustad: spoofing, piggybacking, data diddling, salami attack, flood attack, password sniffing, worm