A new statute, effective next month (March 1, 2024), will give prosecutors greater power to combine the value of stolen property to justify a harsher sentence for certain financial crimes. S.L. 2023-151, § 2(a). Section 15A-1340.16F provides that if a person is convicted of two or more of the same financial crimes – embezzlement, false pretenses, or elder exploitation – the crimes may be “aggregated for sentencing” if: (1) the crimes were committed against more than one victim or in more than one county, and (2) the crimes were based on the same act or transaction or series thereof connected together or constituting parts of a common scheme or plan. The statute lays out a comprehensive arrangement for pleading, procedure, and punishment. This post explores the new law.
I’ve recently been asked several variants of this question: If a suspect sells drugs to an undercover officer on multiple occasions over a few days or weeks, can the drug quantities involved in each sale be aggregated to reach the trafficking threshold? That led me to spend some time looking at the more general issue of when multiple caches of drugs can be combined. This post lays out the law.