Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Things to Know About Receiving Stolen Property

Law enforcement in Massachusetts recently arrested two men after the couple allegedly scammed an 85-year-old grandmother through a phone scam. The woman told law enforcement that she received a phone call from a man who said that he was her grandson’s lawyer and claimed that the grandson needed $9,000 to get out of jail. After the woman withdrew the requested amount, she placed a package in front of her house, which she believed would be picked up by a carrier.  

Shortly after, the woman received a call asking for $10,000 and also placed this money in a package. Law enforcement later began an investigation and the woman told law enforcement that she had received a third request. 

At the request of law enforcement, the woman placed a third package in front of the house and law enforcement watched as a car with New York plates approached the home.  

One man got out of the passenger seat and picked up the package. After the man got back in the vehicle and drove away, law enforcement followed. After waiting until the man got out of the vehicle, law enforcement approached the two men and later arrested them. The men have since been charged with conspiracy to receive stolen property and attempting to commit larceny by false pretense.

The Offense Involves Several Elements

To convict a person of receiving stolen property, the prosecution must satisfy several elements which include showing that:

  • The person purchased, received, or assisted in concealing stolen property. This means that at some point the person being convicted must have actually, constructively, or jointly possessed the item.

  • The goods must have been stolen. 

  • The person being charged must have known the goods were stolen. A subjective test involving the evaluation of circumstantial evidence is used to determine whether the person being charged knew the goods were stolen.

Available Defenses to Theft

Several defenses can be raised in response to receiving stolen property. Some of these defenses include:

  • A strong defense can be made if the person being charged was not aware that the goods were stolen. This often requires purchasing something at a price much lower than market value.

  • Another strong defense exists if the person being charged can establish that the property was either on the individual’s person or in their premises. If doubt about ownership can be raised, a party can create a strong argument against a conviction.

  • If a person can establish that they intended to return stolen property to the rightful owner, the prosecution will lack the necessary criminal intent to establish a conviction.

A Conviction Can Impact a Person’s Immigration Status

Being convicted of receiving stolen property can impact various parts of a person’s life. If a person is not a US citizen, the individual can end up facing serious immigration consequences, which include deportation or difficulty entering the country in the future. 

Contact a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

Regardless of the criminal charges that you face, one of the best steps that you can take is to speak with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. Do not hesitate to contact Edward Molari today. Attorney Edward R Molari has helped many people who have faced similar charges and will remain committed to fighting for the results you deserve.