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Chapter 41 - Stealing and Related Offenses

Chapter 41 - Stealing and Related Offenses

46.4101 Definitions.


As used in this chapter:

(a) "Adulterated" means varying from the standard of composition or quality prescribed by statute or lawfully adopted administrative rules of this Territory lawfully filed, or if none, as set by commercial usage.

(b) "Appropriate" means to take, obtain, use, transfer, conceal, or retain possession of.

(c) "Coercion" means a threat, however communicated to:

(1) commit any crime;

(2) inflict physical injury in the future on the person threatened or another;

(3) accuse any person of any crime;

(4) expose any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule;

(5) harm the credit or business repute of any person;

(6) take or withhold action as a public servant, or to cause a public servant to take or withhold action; or

(7) inflict any other harm which would not benefit the actor.

A threat of accusation, lawsuit, or other invocation of official action is not coercion if the property sought to be obtained by virtue of the threat was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances to which the accusation, exposure, lawsuit, or other official action relates, or as compensation for property or lawful service. The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of justification as to any threat.

(d) "Credit device" means a writing, number, or other device purporting to evidence an undertaking to pay for property or services delivered or rendered to or upon the order of a designated person or bearer.

(e) "Dealer" means a person in the business of buying and selling goods.

(f) "Deceit" means purposely making a representation which is false and which the actor does not believe to be true and upon which the victim relies, as to a matter of fact, law, value, intention, or other state of mind. The term "deceit" does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed. Deception as to the actor's intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise.

(g) "Defraud" means to swindle, cheat or trick; a deliberate deception practiced so as to secure unfair or unlawful gain.

(h) "Deprive" means to:

(1) withhold property from the owners permanently;

(2) restore property only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or

(3) use or dispose of property in a manner that makes recovery of the property by the owner unlikely;

(i) "Mislabeled" means varying from the standard of truth or disclosure in labeling prescribed by statute or lawfully adopted administrative rules of this territory lawfully filed, or if none, as set by commercial usage; or represented as being another person's product, though otherwise accurately labeled as to quality and quantity.

(j) Of another: property or services means that "of another" if any natural person, corporation, partnership, association, governmental subdivision, or instrumentality, other than the actor, has a possessory or proprietary interest in it; except, that property is not considered property of another who has only a security interest in it, even if legal title is in the creditor under a conditional sales contract or other security arrangement.

(k) "Property" means anything of value whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, in possession or in action, and includes but is not limited to the evidence of a debt actually executed but not delivered or issued as a valid instrument.

(l) "Receiving" means acquiring possession, control, or title or lending on the security of the property.

(m) "Services" includes transportation, telephone, electricity, gas, water, or other public service, accommodation in hotels, restaurants, or elsewhere, admission to exhibitions and use of vehicles.

(n) "Writing" includes printing, any other method of recording information, money, coins, negotiable instruments, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks and any other symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification.

46.4102 Determination of value.


For the purposes of this chapter, the value of property is ascertained as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise specified in this section, "value" means the market value of the property at the time and place of the crime, or if it cannot be satisfactorily ascertained the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the crime.

(b) Whether or not they have been issued or delivered, certain written instruments, not including those having a readily ascertainable market value (e.g., some public and corporate bonds and securities) are evaluated as follows:

(1) the value of an instrument constituting evidence of debt (e.g., a check. draft, or promissory note) is considered the amount due or collectible on it, the figure ordinarily being the face amount of the indebtedness less any portion of it which has been satisfied;

(2) the value of any other instrument which creates, releases, discharges or otherwise affects any valuable legal right, privilege, or obligation is considered the greatest amount of economic loss which the owner of the instrument might reasonably suffer by virtue of the loss of the instrument.

(c) When the value of property cannot be satisfactorily ascertained under the standards set forth under subsections (a) and (b), its value is considered to be an amount less than $100.

46.4103 Stealing.


(a) A person commits the crime of stealing if he appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him of it, either without his consent or by means of deceit or coercion.

(b) Stealing is a class C felony if:

(1) the value of the property or services appropriated is $100 or more;

(2) the actor physically takes the property appropriated from the person of the victim; or

(3) the property appropriated consists of:

(A) any motor vehicle, watercraft or aircraft:

(B) any will or unrecorded deed affecting real property;

(C) any credit card or letter of credit;

(D) any firearms;

(E) any original copy of an act, bill or resolution, introduced or acted upon by the Legislature of the territory of American Samoa:

(F) any pleading, notice, judgment, or any other record or entry of any court of this territory, any other state or territory or of the United States; or

(G) any book of registration or list of qualified electors required by 6.0210: or

(H) any animal other than domesticated dogs or cats; or

(I) any controlled substance as defined by subsection (1) of 13.1001.

(c) All other stealing is a class A misdemeanor.

46.4104 Embezzlement.


(a) A person commits the crime of embezzlement if he knowingly misappropriates property of another which has been entrusted to him or which has lawfully come under his control.

(b) Embezzlement is a class C felony.

46.4105 Aggregation of amounts involved in stealing.


Amounts stolen under 1 scheme or a single course of conduct, whether from the same or several owners and whether at the same or different times, constitute a single criminal episode and may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

46.4106 Lost property.


(a) A person who appropriates lost property is not considered to have stolen that property within the meaning of 46.4103 unless the property is found under circumstances which gave the finder knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner.

(b) The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of lost property.

46.4107 Receiving stolen property.


(a) A person commits the crime of receiving stolen property if, for the purpose of depriving the owner of a lawful interest in it, he receives, retains, or disposes of property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it has been stolen.

(b) Evidence of the following is admissible in any criminal prosecution under this section to prove the requisite knowledge or belief of the alleged receiver:

(1) that he was found in possession or control of other property stolen on separate occasions from 2 or more persons;

(2) that he knowingly received other stolen property in another transaction within 1 year preceding the transaction charged; or

(3) that he acquired the stolen property for a consideration which he knew was far below its reasonable value.

(c) Receiving stolen property is a class A misdemeanor unless the property involved has a value of $100 or more, or the person receiving the property is a dealer in goods of the type in question, then receiving stolen property is a class C felony.

46.4108 Claim of right.


(a) A person does not commit an offense under 46.4103 or 46.4104 if, at the time of the appropriation, he

(1) acted in the honest belief that he had the right to do so; or

(2) acted in the honest belief that the owner, if present, would have consented to the appropriation.

(b) The defendant has the burden of injecting the issue of claim of right.

46.4115 Forgery.


(a) A person commits the crime of forgery if, with the purpose to defraud, he:

(1) makes, completes, alters, or authenticates any writing so that it purports to have been made by another or at another time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case or with different terms or by authority of one who did not give that authority;

(2) makes or alters anything other than a writing, so that it purports to have a genuineness, antiquity, rarity, ownership, or authorship which it does not possess; or

(3) uses as genuine, or possesses for the purpose of using as genuine, or transfers with the knowledge or belief that it will be used as genuine, any writing or other thing which the actor knows has been made or altered in the manner described in this section.

(b) Forgery is a class C felony.

46.4116 Possession of a forging instrumentality.


(a) A person commits the crime of possession of a forging instrumentality if, with the purpose of committing forgery, he makes, causes to be made or possesses any device for making or altering any writing.

(b) Possession of a forging instrumentality is a class C felony.

46.4117 Issuing a false instrument or certificate.


(a) A person commits the crime of issuing a false instrument or certificate when, being authorized by law to take proof or acknowledgment of any instrument which by law may be recorded, or being authorized by law to make or issue official certificates or other official written instruments, he issues the instrument or certificate, or makes it with the purpose that it be issued, knowing that it contains a false statement or false information.

(b) Issuing a false instrument or certificate is a class A misdemeanor.

46.4118 Passing bad checks.


(a) A person commits the crime of passing a bad check when, with purpose to defraud, he issues or passes a check or other similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be paid by the drawee, or that there is no such drawee.

(b) If the issuer had no account with the drawee or if there was no such drawee at the time the check or order was issued, this fact is prima facie evidence of his purpose to defraud and of his knowledge that the check or order would not be paid.

(c) If the issuer has an account with the drawee, failure to pay the check or order within 10 days after notice in writing that it has not been honored because of insufficient funds or credit with the drawee is prima facie evidence of his purpose to defraud and of his knowledge that the check or order would not be paid.

(d) Notice in writing means notice deposited as 1st class mail in the United States mail and addressed to the issuer at his address as it appears on the dishonored check or to his last known address.

(e) The face amounts of any bad checks passed under 1 course of conduct or within any 10-day period may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

(f) Passing bad checks is a class A misdemeanor unless:

(1) the face amount of the check or sight order or the aggregated amounts is $100 or more or

(2) the issuer had no account with the drawee or there was no such drawee at the time the check or order was issued, then passing bad checks is a class D felony.

46.4119 Fraudulent use of a credit device.


(a) A person commits the crime of fraudulent use of a credit device if he uses a credit device for the purpose of obtaining services or property, knowing that:

(1) the device is stolen, fictitious or forged;

(2) the device has been revoked or canceled; or

(3) for any other reason his use of the device is unauthorized.

(b) Fraudulent use of a credit device is a class A misdemeanor unless the value of the property or services obtained or sought to be obtained within any 30-day period is $100 or more, then fraudulent use of a credit device is a class D felony.

46.4120 Deceptive business practice.


(a) A person commits the crime of deceptive business practice if in the course of engaging in a business, occupation, or profession, he recklessly:

(1) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure, or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity;

(2) sells, offers or exposes for sale, or delivers less than the represented quantity of any commodity or service;

(3) takes more than the represented quantity of any commodity or service when as buyer he furnishes the weight or measure;

(4) sells, offers, or exposes for sale adulterated or mislabeled commodities; or

(5) makes a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of obtaining property or credit.

(b) Deceptive business practice is a class A misdemeanor.

46.4125 Commercial bribery.


(a) A person commits the crime of commercial bribery:

(1) if he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit as consideration for knowingly violating or agreeing to violate a duty of fidelity to which he is subject as:

(A) agent or employee of another;

(B) trustee, guardian or other fiduciary;

(C) lawyer, physician, accountant, appraiser, or other professional adviser;

(D) officer, director, partner, manager, or other participant in the direction of the affairs of an incorporated or unincorporated association; or

(E) arbitrator or other purportedly disinterested adjudicator or referee;

(2) if as a person who holds himself out to the public as being engaged in the business of making disinterested selection, appraisal or criticism of commodities or services, he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit to influence his selection, appraisal, or criticism; or

(3) if he confers or offers or agrees to confer any benefit the acceptance of which would be criminal under paragraphs (a) (1) and (2).

(b) Commercial bribery is a class A misdemeanor.

46.4126 False advertising.


(a) A person commits the crime of false advertising if, in connection with the promotion or the sale of property or services, he recklessly makes or causes to be made a false or misleading statement in any advertisement addressed to the public or to a substantial number of persons.

(b) False advertising is a class A misdemeanor.

46.4127 Bait advertising.


(a) A person commits the crime of bait advertising if he advertises in any manner the sale of property or services with the purpose not to sell or provide the property or services:

(1) at the price which he offered them;

(2) in a quantity sufficient to meet the reasonably expected public demand, unless the quantity is specifically stated in the advertisement; or

(3) at all.

(b) Bait advertising is a class A misdemeanor.

46.4128 Defrauding secured creditors.


(a) A person commits the crime of defrauding secured creditors if he destroys, removes, conceals, encumbers, transfers, or otherwise deals with property subject to a security interest with purpose to defraud the holder of the security interest.

(b) Defrauding secured creditors is a class A misdemeanor unless the amount remaining to be paid on the secured debt, including interest, is $500 or more, then defrauding secured creditors is a class D felony.

46.4129 Criminal fraud.


(a) A person commits the crime of fraud if he knowingly and willfully:

(1) obtains money, property or undue advantage by use of any device, scheme or artifice to defraud by means of false or fraudulent pretenses; or

(2) falsifies, misrepresents, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry.

(b) Criminal fraud is a class C felony.