Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To Felony Theft Scheme
When a person fails to pay for goods or services, or refuses to perform services after getting paid, it is called theft. While many theft cases are minor and considered misdemeanors, others are felonies resulting in thousands of dollars stolen.
A Maryland man has recently pled guilty to a theft scheme in which he was paid to build a shed, but stole the money and never performed the work. The 72-year-old man from Prince Frederick, who owns Marco’s Quality Storage Buildings, took the money from several people in the county.
The State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the man’s bank records and interviewed witnesses. It was discovered that the man had been involved in this scheme since 2018. He was able to steal $14,995 in total.
The man’s sentencing has been scheduled for November 5 in Calvert County Circuit Court. He is facing up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He must also pay restitution to his victims.
What the Law Says
Under Maryland law, a person convicted of stealing items or services valued between $1,000 and $10,000 can face felony charges. The punishment is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The defendant must also restore the stolen property to the owner or pay the market value of the stolen property to the owner.
If the value of the property or services is between $10,000 and $100,000, the person can face felony charges as well as up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. In addition, the guilty party must pay restitution to the victims.
Defenses to Theft
There are possible defenses to theft that a person can use to avoid a conviction or get a lesser charge. Possible defenses include the following:
- Right of ownership. The person who took the property must have a good faith claim that they believed the property to be theirs. This requires more than a simple verbal claim, though, There will need to be evidence.
- This is when the person didn’t want to commit the theft but was lured into it. This may be done by law enforcement or the person who owns the property.
- If the person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they stole the item, then they may have a valid defense. You would have to have proof, though. Also, keep in mind that public intoxication is a criminal offense, so you are essentially trading one crime for another.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Theft is one of the most common criminal charges. Many people steal items or refuse to perform services for which they were paid in order to get something for nothing. This leads to financial loss for individuals and companies.
Theft of expensive items or services can lead to felony charges. Protect yourself with legal help from the Columbia theft lawyers at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We can provide aggressive legal representation to defend your case. Schedule a consultation today by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.