Can I be charged with fraud for purchasing something for less then what the merchandise was worth?

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Can I be charged with fraud for purchasing something for less then what the merchandise was worth?

I work for a fast food restaurant and when I went to the bank to cash my deposit and get change for the day they gave me some old silver coins. I had been collecting coins since I was about 5 and I knew wat they where right away. I held onto the coins for a few months and then decided to sell them. That was about 2 weeks ago. Today a detective came knocking on my door asking questions I answered all his questions and he continued to pressure me. So I asked him if I was being charged, he said no that no one reported the coins stolen. I told him to leave. He then went to my work and asked questioned them. He is saying I can be charged with fraud.

Asked on September 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Based on the facts that you describe, it's hard to see how they are going to get a fraud charge.  The bank gave you the change-- you didn't deceive them-- they just didn't recognize what they had.  If they would have made the same trade for coins to anyone else-- they cannot claim fraud... it was their goof, plain and simple.

The next issue is your employer.  If your employer was only expecting "x" amount of change and you took them change in "x" amount-- then they will have a hard time claiming fraud because they received exactly what they asked for.  If they did not get the full amount of change, then, at most, you're looking at a theft charge, not a fraud charge.  If your employer did expect to receive a rare set of coins and you replaced the coins with different, more modern coins, then yes, you could be charged with fraud.

But... based on what you have described, it seems very odd that an investigator would even know that an offense had occurred. 


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