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Will fake seizures for food: Will stiff sentence stop theft?

This is somewhat of an unusual story. We tend to cover stories with more of an opening to discuss criminal defense strategy, but there is room in life and work to discuss quirky criminal cases in Baltimore, as well.

There is no doubt that economic times are difficult in Baltimore, throughout Maryland and much of the country. Jobs are hard to come by, and people are having to do with less. Financially tight times can lead to desperate measures. And in at least one local man’s case, desperate times have led to Baltimore theft charges.

According to The Baltimore Sun, a 45-year-old man has made a reputation for himself within the county. While theft isn’t a completely uncommon offense in the state, theft by seizure is pretty unusual. The man has reportedly been caught faking seizures in order to get out of paying his bills at various restaurants and bars throughout the area during the past couple of years.

While a bill of less than $100 might not sound like a significant offense, the theft suspect’s repeated behavior has caught up with him. He has been sentenced to serve 90-day stints in jail as a result of his fraudulent actions in the past.

Recently, a judge agreed with the prosecution that the repeat offender needed to be handed a harsher sentence in order for him to learn a lesson. Last Friday, he was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail. Only the future will tell whether the stricter sentencing will curb the defendant’s appetite for a free meal.

Source

The Baltimore Sun: “Man who faked seizures to escape bar tabs gets 18 months,” Justin Fenton, Jan. 7, 2012

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