Theft by Deception, N.J.S.A. 2c:20-4

theft, theft by deception, N.J.S.A. 2c:20-4, N.J.S.A. 2c:20-2New Jersey officials have charged a past youth sports league treasurer, per the news. Prosecutors claim he ran the football league bank accounts, per the press. In addition, he allegedly stole $14,000 from the league’s 2015 championship game. Furthermore, they allege he took about $56,000 in league funds from July of 2014 to June of 2016.  As required by the New Jersey Constitution, the case went before a Grand Jury. Subsequently, the Grand Jury returned a true bill with one count of third degree theft by deception. Consequently, the Attorney General filed the indictment with this charge in Gloucester County Superior Court.

Elements of Theft by Deception

New Jersey law prohibits Theft by Deception under N.J.S.A. 2c:20-4 for anyone who

  1. Purposely
  2. Obtains
  3. Property
  4. Of another
  5. By deception.

A person deceives if he purposely

  1. 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;
  2. Prevents another from acquiring information that would affect his judgment of a transaction; or
  3. Fails to correct a false impression that the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or 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.

Grading Theft by Deception

By N.J.S.A. 2c:20-2, the following factors determine the degree of the theft.

Second Degree:

  • Value at least $75,000;
  • Taken by extortion;
  • More than one kilogram controlled dangerous substance or analog;
  • Federal or State health care benefits budgeted by Dept. of Human Services or agency acting on its behalf in amount of at least $75,000.00; or
  • Human remains or any part thereof;
  • Except human remains stolen by deception or falsification of document by which gift of all or part of human body may be made, the theft is a First Degree crime.

Third Degree:

  • Value more than $500 and less than $75,000;
  • Firearm, motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic companion animal or airplane;
  • At most one kilogram controlled dangerous substance or analog and value less than $75,000.00 or undetermined;
  • From the person of the victim;
  • In breach of obligation by person in capacity as fiduciary;
  • By threat not amounting to extortion;
  • Public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in keeping of any public office or public servant;
  • Federal or State health care benefits budgeted by Dept. of Human Services or agency acting on its behalf in amount of less than $75,000.00;
  • Any real or personal property related to, necessary for, or derived from research, regardless of value, including, but not limited to, any sample, specimens and components thereof, research subject, including any warm-blooded or cold-blooded animals being used for research or intended for use in research, supplies, records, data or test results, prototypes or equipment, as well as any proprietary information or other type of information related to research;
  • New Jersey Prescription Blank;
  • Access device or defaced access device; or
  • Anhydrous ammonia and actor intends it to be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Fourth Degree:

  • Value between $200 and $500, inclusive;

Disorderly Person:

  • Value less than $200.00; or
  • Electronic vehicle identification system transponder.

Exposure for Theft by Deception, N.J.S.A. 2c:20-4

First Degree: Up to $200,000.00
Second Degree: Up to $150,000.00
Third Degree: Up to $15,000.00
Fourth Degree: Up to $10,000.00
Disorderly Person: Up to $1,000.00

First Degree: 10 to 20 years
Second Degree: 5 to 10 years
Third Degree: 3 to 5 years
Fourth Degree: Up to 18 months

Disorderly Person: Up to 6 months

Victims of Crime Compensation Assessment (VCCA)
$100 to $10,000, auto theft/unlawful taking with injury or death
$50.00, any DP, PDP, or crime not resulting in injury or death
$30.00, juvenile delinquency (with exceptions)

Safe Neighborhood Services Fund Assessment
$75, each conviction for any crime, DP, or PDP
$75, participant in supervisory treatment or conditional discharge

Law Enforcement Officer Training & Equipment Fund
$30, any crime
$15, juvenile disposition for crime if committed by adult

1 to 5 years, conditioned on county jail up to 364 days (indictable), or up to 90 days (disorderly person)

Suspended Sentence
Up to 5 years

Auto Theft or Unlawful Taking
Any reasonable and necessary expense paid by owner to recover vehicle, and
Any damage to vehicle before recovery by owner

Community supervision
Community service
Halfway house or residential facility including non-Dept. Human Svc. facilities
Imprisonment at night or weekends to allow work, training or school
Court Costs

NJ Trial Lawyer Michael A. Smolensky, Esq., knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding theft by deception. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.