Theft by Deception Law & Legal Definition


Theft by deception generally means the use of deception to obtain control over the property or services of another. The following is an example of a state statute governing theft by deception:

Theft by deception.

A person commits theft if he obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he intentionally:

(1) Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention, or other state of mind; 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; or

(2) Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or

(3) 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; or

(4) Uses a credit card, charge plate, or any other instrument which purports to evidence an undertaking to pay for property or services delivered or rendered to or upon the order of a designated person or bearer (a) where such instrument has been stolen, forged, revoked, or canceled, or where for any other reason its use by the actor is unauthorized, or (b) where the actor does not have the intention and ability to meet all obligations to the issuer arising out of his use of the instrument.

The word deceive does not include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.