There are several different forms of theft in North Carolina. Larceny is what most people think of as theft: it is the taking of property that is not yours. Robbery is taking of the property from the actual person.
Embezzlement is taking money that’s been entrusted to you and using it for other purposes. For instance, if you take money that’s been given to you because you’re the accountant at a workplace, and you go gambling in Las Vegas, that’s embezzlement.
Obtaining Property by False Pretenses (OPFP) is a form of theft that involves trickery or fraud. For instance, let’s say you’re walking down the street and see a nice car that you want to buy, and see me standing by the car. Let’s say I don’t own the car. But let’s say that I tell you that I will sell you the car for $5,000. You give me the car, thinking that I am the owner and can legally sell it to you.
I’ve committed a crime of obtaining property by false pretense. I’ve tricked you into giving me $5,000 to sell you a car that is not mine to sell.
Here’s the statute:
N.C.G.S 14-100. Obtaining property by false pretenses.
(a) If any person shall knowingly and designedly by means of any kind of false pretense whatsoever, whether the false pretense is of a past or subsisting fact or of a future fulfillment or event, obtain or attempt to obtain from any person within this State any money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value with intent to cheat or defraud any person of such money, goods, property, services, chose in action or other thing of value, such person shall be guilty of a felony: Provided, that if, on the trial of anyone indicted for such crime, it shall be proved that he obtained the property in such manner as to amount to larceny or embezzlement, the jury shall have submitted to them such other felony proved; and no person tried for such felony shall be liable to be afterwards prosecuted for larceny or embezzlement upon the same facts: Provided, further, that it shall be sufficient in any indictment for obtaining or attempting to obtain any such money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value by false pretenses to allege that the party accused did the act with intent to defraud, without alleging an intent to defraud any particular person, and without alleging any ownership of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action or other thing of value; and upon the trial of any such indictment, it shall not be necessary to prove either an intent to defraud any particular person or that the person to whom the false pretense was made was the person defrauded, but it shall be sufficient to allege and prove that the party accused made the false pretense charged with an intent to defraud. If the value of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more, a violation of this section is a Class C felony. If the value of the money, goods, property, services, chose in action, or other thing of value is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), a violation of this section is a Class H felony.
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