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Q: Is there a Theft by Deception Law in Colorado ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Question  
Subject: Is there a Theft by Deception Law in Colorado
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: guappodiablo-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 22 Jun 2006 23:07 PDT
Expires: 22 Jul 2006 23:07 PDT
Question ID: 740406
Background:  About a year ago I purchased a vehicle from an individual
who had sold it under the premise it was paid for and the bank had/was
mailing the title.  The title was never mailed as the vehicle was no
where near being paid off.

I paid cash for the vehicle and have yet to receive either a title or
a refund despite diligent civil efforts to obtain either.  Bottom
line the car was never paid off and at the time of sale the amount
owing exceeded my purchase price slightly.  The bank is moving forward
with a repossession effort and before long I will be left empty handed.
 I have found specific laws pertaining to other states where it is
illegal and criminal to sell a vehicle that is not owned outright
(without disclosing this prior to sale) or encumbered by an unsettled
title.  The civil process has thus far failed to resolve the matter
and I am wanting to know if any criminal laws apply to this situation.
Answer  
Subject: Re: Is there a Theft by Deception Law in Colorado
Answered By: hagan-ga on 23 Jun 2006 07:17 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
 
Hello, Guappodiablo.  Sorry for your troubles, but I think I can
answer your question.  Colorado does indeed have a criminal law
against theft by deception, and it applies to your situation. 
Colorado also has a specific law against transferring a vehicle
without the title.

Colo. Rev. Stat.  18-4-401(1)(a) & (b) provides that:
A person commits theft when he knowingly obtains or exercises control
over anything of value of another without authorization, or by threat
or deception, and: (a) intends to deprive the other person permanently
of the use or benefit of the thing of value; or (b) knowingly uses,
conceals, or abandons the thing of value in such manner as to deprive
the other person permanently of its use or benefit.
http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=fs-main.htm&2.0

Here is a Colorado bankruptcy case discussing the Colorado criminal
law against larceny by misrepresentation:
http://www.cob.uscourts.gov/opinions/01-21790ebbinremichaellynch.pdf

And here is a really interesting case involving the Uniform Commercial
Code, in which people entrusted their vehicles to a dealer for
consignment, the dealer sold the cars and pocketed the money.  The
buyers of the vehicles were entitled to keep them because they were
purchasers in good faith.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=co&vol=2000app%5Cct11247&invol=1

The discussion in that case may be instructive in your situation.

Colorado also generally forbids the transfer of a motor vehicle
without a certificate of title.
"42-6-109. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
(1) Except as provided in section 42-6-113, no person shall sell or
otherwise transfer a motor vehicle to a purchaser or transferee
without delivering to such purchaser or transferee a certificate of
title, which may be electronic, to such vehicle duly transferred in
the manner prescribed in section 42-6-110. No purchaser or transferee
shall acquire any right, title, or interest in and to a motor vehicle
purchased by such purchaser or transferee unless and until he or she
obtains from the transferor the certificate of title duly transferred
in accordance with this part 1. A lienholder may request either a
paper or electronic version of a certificate of title."
http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dll/Infobase4/620da/64720/64722?f=templates&fn=fs-main-doc.htm&q=Disclosure%20requirements%20on%20transfer%20of%20motor%20vehicles%20&x=Advanced&2.0#LPHit1

Violation is a misdemeanor.
"42-6-142. Penalties.
(1) No person may sell, transfer, or in any manner dispose of a motor
vehicle in this state without complying with this part 1. [NOTE: 
"PART ONE" REFERS TO THE ENTIRE AREA OF THE CODE THAT DEALS WITH
TRANSFER OF TITLE, KNOWN AS THE "CERTIFICATE OF TITLE ACT."]
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) of this section for which no
other penalty is expressly provided is guilty of a misdemeanor and,
upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one
hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment
in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six
months, or by both such fine and imprisonment."
http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dll/Infobase4/620da/64720/64722?f=templates&fn=fs-main-doc.htm&q=Disclosure%20requirements%20on%20transfer%20of%20motor%20vehicles%20&x=Advanced&2.0#LPHit1

You can view all of "Part One" by going to this link:
http://198.187.128.12/colorado/lpext.dll/Infobase4/620da/64720/64722?f=templates&fn=fs-main-doc.htm&q=Disclosure%20requirements%20on%20transfer%20of%20motor%20vehicles%20&x=Advanced&2.0#LPHit1
and scrolling through, page by page.  

But the upshot is that failure to comply with any part of it is a misdemeanor.

I hope this has been helpful.  Please don't hesitate to ask for
clarification if there's anything further I can provide.  Best of
luck.
guappodiablo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great answer, Researcher gave not 1 but 2 applicable laws.  The case
examples also helped to show how the laws have been applied.  Thanks a
bunch

Comments  
Subject: Re: Is there a Theft by Deception Law in Colorado
From: myoarin-ga on 23 Jun 2006 02:17 PDT
 
This is no answer, of course, but I suspect that if you knew that the
bank held the title at the time you paid cash for the car, that should
have flagged the fact that that there was a lien on the vehicle or
that the title was not in the name of the person you dealt with,
something that a buyer should have considered.

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