Arizona Law Has Broadly Expanded The Common Law Definition of Theft
Under common law, theft was defined as “the unlawful taking of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive.” Thanks to Arizona business interests there are now 10 different sections specifying how one can commit theft. Penalties for these crimes are generally determined by the value of the property taken.
In Addition to the Crimes of Embezzlement and Theft Arizona Law Now Permits Prosecution for Individuals For Fraud Schemes and Artifices
Under ARS Section 13-2310 “Any person who, pursuant to a scheme or artifice to defraud, knowingly obtains any benefit by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises or material omissions is guilty of a class 2 felony.” Incredibly, another section of the statute states the person affected by the misrepresentation does not have to rely on it for the defendant to be found guilty.
Fraud Schemes and Artifices is a Favorite Crime of Prosecutors
Given the broad scope of the statute, the absence of the need for actual harm to a victim, and classification as a severe felony, the crime of fraud schemes and artifices is often charged along with property crimes carrying lesser penalties. By so charging, prosecutors can often coerce defendants to take plea offers rather than risk the severe penalties under the fraud scheme statute.