A job contractor entered into a contract with an elderly homeowner for minor repairs to his house. When the minor repairs were finished, the job contractor asked the man to sign a receipt. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the homeowner was functionally literate, that is he can only read and write his own name. He cannot read much else. The homeowner thought that the job contractor was asking him to sign a receipt to evidence that he had duly worked on and made minor repairs on his house for the amount of $700.
The truth of the matter was that the job contractor asked the functionally literate homeowner to sign a mortgage deed and a promissory note for the amount of $1795. The job contractor was going to induce the homeowner to apply for loan and to sign a deed of mortgage on his house as collateral to pay for the loan. The promissory note was proof that the homeowner intended to borrow money and to pay it.
The functionally literate homeowner pressed charges against the job contractor for forgery, and for grand larceny which was committed by defrauding another in an amount exceeding $100. The job contractor was found guilty of the crime of grand larceny.
The job contractor appealed his conviction. He claims that the trial court erred in convicting him because he did not steal any money from the homeowner and s such, he should not have been charged or found guilty of grand larceny.
The only question is whether or not the conviction of the job contractor was proper. The Court held that the conviction was proper. The appeal was dismissed.
A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the Court held that grand larceny under the criminal laws of the State of Florida may be committed also by obtaining the signature of a person in a deed or written instrument with intent to deprive or defraud the signatory of property, the use or benefit of the property or to take the property for his own use and benefit.
Here, the job contractor was duly proved to have induced the homeowner to sign a mortgage deed and a promissory note. The homeowner was induced to sign those documents when he relied on the fraudulent representations of the job contractor that it was only a receipt for the minor repairs done by him on the homeowner’s property. The act of inducing another to sign a document under false or fraudulent pretenses is an act of forgery. The value of the property here is $1795. This is the amount of the loan which was going to be secured by the mortgage on the property. This is the amount that appeared in the promissory note signed by the homeowner.
These acts squarely fall under the definition of grand larceny committed through fraud or deceit.
The crime punishes the crime and deceit employed to obtain money or property to the detriment of the homeowner and for the benefit of the job contractor. He alone stood to gain from applying for a loan. He alone stood to benefit from obtaining the proceeds of the loan. And the homeowner stood to be financially disadvantaged because in the event that the loan would be unpaid, it is the homeowner who will be sued for the amount of the loan and if he is unable to pay then his home would be taken as payment for the loan.
The prosecution was also able to prove that the job contractor intended to defraud the elderly homeowner. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said all his acts were in furtherance of a design to deprive the elderly homeowner of his home.
The conviction is upheld and the appeal is dismissed.
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