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Allen v. State

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant obtained in money by false pretenses as an agent for another person. After being convicted for false pretenses, Defendant appealed for a rehearing and disputed the jury instruction about the method of obtaining property by false pretenses.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    In Ohio, to be found guilty of obtaining property by false pretenses, it is unnecessary that possession of the property be obtained by false pretenses. 

    Facts.

    Allen (Defendant) was charged with obtaining $400 in money by false pretenses as an agent for another person. After being convicted with the false pretenses charge, Defendant applied for rehearing. Defendant argued that the trial court erred for telling the jury that it was immaterial how he obtained the money; hence, it was immaterial if Defendant obtained the money from the other person from her own pocket or whether he collected it and held it for her as her agent.

    Issue.

    In Ohio, is it necessary that possession of property be obtained by false pretenses to be found guilty of obtaining property by false pretenses?

    Held.

    No. In Ohio, any person who obtains anything of value by false pretenses may be found guilty. According to Defendant, the trial court was wrong to instruct the jury that it was immaterial how Defendant obtained the money. However, even if Defendant was already in possession of the $400, he obtained the money by false pretenses. Therefore, that act is sufficient to fall under obtaining money by false pretenses under Ohio law. Defendant’s motion for rehearing is denied.

    Discussion.

    In Ohio, to be found guilty of obtaining property by false pretenses, one need not obtain possession of the property by false pretenses. If a person is already in possession of money being to another, and that person obtained the title by false pretenses, that person is guilty of Ohio’s law for obtaining property by false pretenses. Therefore, the trial court was not wrong in instructing the jury that it was immaterial how he obtained the money from the individual.


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