Articles Posted in Theft Laws

In a recent case before a court of appeals in Arizona, the defendant asked for a reversal of his guilty verdict based on unfair conduct from the prosecutor at trial. Originally, the defendant was found guilty of several crimes, including identity theft, forgery, and criminal possession of a forgery device. On appeal, the defendant took issue with part of the prosecuting attorney’s closing argument, in which he insinuated the defendant was guilty of activity that was not in the record. Looking at the case, the court of appeals disagreed and ultimately affirmed the defendant’s original verdict.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, an officer was on patrol one evening when he got a call about a suspicious-looking car in a parking lot. The officer went to investigate and came upon the defendant, who was alone and asleep in the driver’s seat. When the officer approached, the defendant quickly drove away, crashing the car in front of a nearby house.

The defendant took off on foot, arriving at a shed next to another house in the neighborhood. When the officers arrived, they found the defendant hiding in the shed with a slew of credit cards around him. After further investigation, the defendant was charged, and his case went to trial. He was found guilty of forgery, based in part on the fact that he had dozens of credit cards that were not under his name, as well as the fact that the credit card holders had reported fraudulent charges on those cards.

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In a recent case involving fraudulent activity and identity theft, an Arizona court denied a defendant’s appeal filed based on an error committed by the trial court. In the appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court committed an error so substantial that it biased the jury and gave her an unfair trial. The higher court disagreed, ultimately denying the defendant’s appeal.

The Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant was hired to take care of an elderly man who was not expected to live for much longer. Shortly after the defendant started caring for this man, the man’s wallet went missing. When the man died a few weeks later, his wife continued to employ the defendant as her own caretaker. The defendant was involved in many aspects of the elderly woman’s life, and she was thus given access to the woman’s home, incoming mail, checkbooks, and email.

The woman soon noticed several financial documents missing. She went to visit a bank and discovered that all of her accounts had been emptied. Soon, she learned that the defendant had used her credit card, rented a house for herself in the woman’s name, liquidated stocks belonging to the woman for herself, and used the woman’s bank account to pay various bills of her own. Law enforcement searched the defendant’s home and found significant evidence of this fraudulent activity. She was charged with fifty-six crimes against four victims; thirty-two of the counts related to this elderly woman and her husband. The defendant was sentenced to time in prison as a result of her convictions.

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