The Title is Affeer’d: Larceny or False Pretenses?

The perpetrators in State v. White, No. COA22-369, 2023 WL 3471116 (N.C. Ct. App. May 16, 2023), wrongfully obtained merchandise from a Walmart by purchasing an $89 child’s car seat box which they had surreptitiously filled with nearly $10,000 worth of electronics.  The defendant was convicted of larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, and obtaining property by false pretenses, and appealed, arguing the trial court erred in allowing convictions for both larceny and false pretenses.  The Court of Appeals disagreed, saying “the crimes of larceny and obtaining property by false pretenses are not mutually exclusive.”  White, 2023 WL 3471116, at *5.  Ultimately, it held that there was sufficient evidence to support both charges and that the trial court did not err by instructing on both.  Id.  This post examines the difference between larceny and false pretenses to determine when a defendant may be convicted of both offenses based on a single transaction.

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