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Buying or Receiving Stolen Property

One of the most common crimes committed involves the stealing or taking of another person’s property; this crime is known as larceny. Associated with the crime of larceny is the buying or receiving of the goods once they have been stolen; In Massachusetts, this is also a crime. The criminal charge of buying or receiving stolen property or possession of stolen property generally involves taking possession of property with knowledge that it has been obtained through theft, embezzlement, fraud, larceny or extortion by someone else. While most people believe that it is only a crime to steal, it is also a crime to be on the receiving end of stolen goods. This also includes the attainment of goods that have been gained through other illegal means such as embezzlement and extortion. To be charged with the crime of receiving stolen goods, the individual must have knowledge that the goods they are receiving are stolen, thus it must be proven that there was prior knowledge of the illegal status of the goods. This can be difficult to prove in court, but must be proven in order for a charge to stick. Only a skilled Boston, Massachusetts theft crimes defense attorney will have the familiarity with the law necessary to properly investigate your charges and construct the best possible defense strategy. Don’t gamble with your future, protect yourself and your rights by enlisting the services of a qualified theft crimes attorney today to zealously defend your Massachusetts buying or receiving stolen property charge.

Section 60 of Chapter 266 of the Massachusetts General Laws criminalizes the act of buying or receiving stolen property. It provides that anyone who buys, receives or aids in the concealment of stolen or embezzled property, knowing it to have been stolen or embezzled, or whoever with intent to defraud buys, receives or aids in the concealment of property knowing it to have been obtained from a person by a false pretense of carrying on business and dealing in the ordinary course of trade shall be in violation of the law. If the value of the property does not exceed $250, (misdemeanor buying or receiving stolen property) a conviction for a first time offense will result in the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment in jail or house of correction for not more than 2.5 years, or
  • A fine of not more than $250.

If the value of the property exceeds $250, (felony buying or receiving stolen property) a conviction will result in the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 5 years, or
  • Imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for no more than 2.5 years, or
  • A fine of not more than $500.
Buying or Selling Stolen Trade Secrets

In addition, MGL c. 266, s. 60A provides that anyone who buys, receives, conceals, stores, barters, sells or disposes of any trade secret which he or she knows to have been stolen, unlawfully converted, or taken shall be in violation of the law (felony offense). A conviction under this subsection shall result in the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or
  • A fine of not more than $500 and imprisonment in jail for not more than 2 years.
Common Receiver

If the offender is convicted more than once of buying, receiving or aiding in the concealment of stolen or embezzled property knowing it to have been stolen or embezzled, or they are convicted of three or more separate acts of buying, receiving or aiding in the concealment of money, goods or property stolen or embezzled, they shall be considered a common receiver of stolen or embezzled goods and shall be held in violation of MGL c. 266, s. 62. A defendant convicted under this law which is a felony offense shall be punished in the state prison for no more than 10 years.

Effects of Restitution

If, upon a first conviction for buying or receiving stolen property, it is shown that the act of stealing the property was a simple larceny (under $250), and if the person convicted makes restitution to the person injured to the full value of the property stolen, then the offender shall not be imprisoned in the state prison.

Tenacious Boston, Massachusetts Theft Crimes Defense

The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy aggressively defends clients who stand accused, investigated, or arrested for any Massachusetts theft crimes. Due to his extensive experience in the area of theft crimes, Attorney Murphy knows where to look for the weaknesses and legal errors that are made by law enforcement and will meet or speak with you promptly to discuss any arrest or investigation pertaining to theft charges. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has defended countless defendants throughout the greater Boston area facing charges such as Buying or Receiving Stolen Property, and has the knowledge and resources to fight for you. To ensure your rights are protected and to discuss the details of your case, call (617) 367-0450 for a free consultation or submit the online contact form directly to our office. As a dedicated legal advocate, Attorney Murphy is available 24/7 to speak with you.

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