Larceny used to be relatively simple. But today, credit cards and modern banking methods create huge challenges to properly charge, prosecute, and defend. In the November 2014 Army Lawyer, Maj. Owens- Felice cites the case of a wrongdoer, CW 4 Luvasky. By the time the appellate courts were done, they affirmed only a little over $2000 l[a fraction of the approximately $68,000 of which WO Luvasky was originally convicted ] The remainder was lost because of misunderstanding the current law of larceny.
“The [credit card] swipe is just the beginning,” says the author. He then looks into credit/debit card transactions as well as problems associated with ATM transactions or misuse of a government credit card. Still more complex problems arise when a credit or debit card is used to make an Internet purchase. Ditto with the use of PayPal. Still looming on the horizon: How to charge and prosecute so-called virtual currency transactions often called Bitcoin.
Seeking to bring clarity to the area, the author focuses his discussion on five primary legal areas:
- · The modern theory of larceny
- · The requirement of a tangible res
- · The possessory interests in a creditor/debtor relationship
- · The meaning importance of “ownership” and
- · The impact of an agency relationship
The article concludes with a useful chart. Must reading in today’s complex financial framework.