Courts We Serve
Theft Charges Result In Conviction in New Brunswick
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is particularly aggressive when the victim of a theft offense or other criminal act is elderly. The motivation is understandable given that our seniors are often less equipped to deal with deceptive conduct than younger adults. This was the scenario that was recently confronted in the case of a 88 year old New Brunswick resident who was defrauded into conveying the deed to her house to the 53 year old defendant. Prosecution of the case resulted in a conviction for third degree theft by deception.
The offense of theft by deception is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. This statute provides that:
A person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he purposely:
a. Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind, and including, but not limited to, a false impression that the person is soliciting or collecting funds for a charitable purpose; but deception as to a person’s intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;
b. Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or
c. Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.
The term “deceive” does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.
The violation in this recent New Brunswick case could potentially fall under one of several subsections of 2C:20-4. The end result irrespective of the provision is a third degree crime. Third degree theft by deception results in a state prison term of up to five years and a maximum fine of $15,000. The court also has authority to order restitution, which it did in this particular case.
If you have been charged with theft in New Brunswick or another location in Middlesex County, the lawyers on our defense team are equipped to effectively defend you. A theft offense attorney at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver is available immediately to assist you. Contact us in New Brunswick or at one of our alternative offices anytime 24/7 for a free consultation.