Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Moses case brief

State v. Moses case brief summary
599 P.2d 252 (1979)

Defendant challenged his conviction and sentence in the Superior Court of Maricopa County (Arizona) on the charge of obtaining money by means of a scheme or artifice to defraud, in violation of former Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-320.01. Defendant argued that the State failed to prove that the victim intended to transfer title of the property to him.

Defendant's conviction under § 13-320.01 was based upon his participation in a scam known as the "Jamaican Switch." The defendant approached the victim, asked directions to a boarding house. The defendant's accomplice then approached defendant and offered to show him to a boarding house. Defendant then showed the victim that he had a large amount of cash and stated that he did not trust the woman, asking the victim to show good faith by placing the victim's own money in the same handkerchief with that of the defendant. The handkerchief was then deposited in the trunk of the victim's automobile. However, unknown to the victim, defendant switched the handkerchiefs. When the victim later opened the handkerchief, he found only folded paper.

  • On appeal, the court held that § 13-320.01 was derived from the Federal Mail Fraud Statute, 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 1341-1343, which encompassed a broad range of fraudulent activities, and was not intended as a codification of the common law crime of false pretenses. 
  • Therefore, the court held that there was sufficient evidence to support defendant's conviction.

The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

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