What is larceny by check?
Above all, larceny by check involves obtaining goods or services by writing a check with knowledge of insufficient funds and with intent to defraud. Note that “larceny by stealing” is a different legal offense than larceny by check.
Massachusetts law states:
“Whoever, with intent to defraud, makes, draws, utters or delivers any check, draft order for the payment of money upon any bank or other depository, with knowledge that the maker or drawer has not sufficient funds or credit at such bank or other depository for the payment of such instrument, although no express representation is made in reference thereto…if money or property or services are obtained thereby shall be guilty of larceny.”
In other words, a person with intent to:
…for the payment of money to any bank or other place to deposit money—with knowledge that the maker or drawer does not have enough money or credit to withdraw the money—and successfully withdraws the money, property, or services from a bank, is GUILTY of larceny.
What does the government have to show to prove someone is guilty of larceny by check?
Moreover, in order to prove a defendant GUILTY of the offense of larceny by check, the Commonwealth must prove four elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant:
- Wrote a check
- Cashed a check drawn
- Passed a check drawn
- Delivered a check drawn
…upon an account at the bank in question
- That by doing so the defendant obtained:
- That when the defendant:
…the check, he or she knew that he or she or the person who wrote the check did NOT have sufficient funds or credit at the bank on which the check was drawn to cover the check
- That the defendant did so with the intent to defraud:
- The bank
- Someone who received the check
What is the legal definition of credit?
The word “credit” in the context of the offense of larceny by check means an arrangement or understanding with the bank in question to pay the check in question, such as a line of credit.
Are there any civil punishments with larceny by check?
YES, there are potential civil penalties associated with the crime of larceny by check. In addition to any criminal penalties, a civil suit to recover the face amount of a bounced check and for additional damages, as determined by the court, is permissible. The prosecution can make a written demand for additional damages, that must be answered by the defendant within 30 days, if the amount in additional damages requested is no less than $100 and no more than $500.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH LARCENY BY CHECK, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.