Could I be charged with theft by deception?

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Could I be charged with theft by deception?

I bought a phone from a 3rd party over
the internet. I sold the phone at a
later date. The person who bought the
phone later said the phone was
lost/stolen. They contacted me and I
investigated the matter to find out this
was true. They have contacted the police
and I have been cooperative. Looking for
some insight on this matter.

Asked on December 30, 2017 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you did not commit theft (whether by deception or otherwise) becaue you are not  the one who took it from them or assisted someone in taking it from them. If there was something suspicious about the transaction or the person you were buying it from--some reason to suspect they may be selling stolen goods--you could potentially be charged with something like receiving or trafficking in stolen goods, but that would only be if you had some knowledge or reasonable suspicion that you might be purchasing a stolen phone. On the other hand, if to your knowledge, the person was selling a phone he legitimately owned or had acquired, you did nothing criminal at all.


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