12.1-23-10. Definitions for theft and related offenses
In this chapter:
1. “Dealer in property” means a person who buys or sells property as a business.
2. “Deception” means:
a. Creating or reinforcing a false impression as to fact, law, status, value, intention, or other state of mind; or obtaining or attempting to obtain public assistance by concealing a material fact, making a false statement or representation, impersonating another, concealing the transfer of property without adequate consideration, or using any other fraudulent method; but deception as to a person’s intention to perform a promise may not be inferred from the fact alone that the person did not substantially perform the promise unless it is part of a continuing scheme to defraud;
b. Preventing another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction;
c. Failing to correct a false impression which the actor previously created or reinforced, or which he knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship;
d. Failing to correct an impression which the actor previously created or reinforced and which the actor knows to have become false due to subsequent events;
e. Failing to disclose a lien, adverse claim, or other impediment to the enjoyment of property which he transfers or encumbers in consideration for the property obtained or in order to continue to deprive another of his property, whether such impediment is or is not valid, or is or is not a matter of official record;
f. Using a credit card, charge plate, or any other instrument which purports to evidence an undertaking to pay for property or services delivered or rendered to or upon the order of a designated person or bearer (1) where such instrument has been stolen, forged, revoked, or canceled, or where for any other reason its use by the actor is unauthorized, and (2) where the actor does not have the intention and ability to meet all obligations to the issuer arising out of his use of the instrument; or
g. Any other scheme to defraud. The term “deception” does not, however, include falsifications as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed. “Puffing” means an exaggerated commendation of wares in communications addressed to the public or to a class or group.
3. “Deprive” means:
a. To withhold property or to cause it to be withheld either permanently or under such circumstances that a major portion of its economic value, or its use and benefit, has, in fact, been appropriated;
b. To withhold property or to cause it to be withheld with the intent to restore it only upon the payment of a reward or other compensation; or
c. To dispose of property or use it or transfer any interest in it under circumstances that make its restoration, in fact, unlikely.
4. “Fiduciary” means a trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, receiver, or any other person acting in a fiduciary capacity, or any person carrying on fiduciary functions on behalf of a corporation, limited liability company, or other organization which is a fiduciary.
5. “Financial institution” means a bank, insurance company, credit union, safety deposit company, savings and loan association, investment trust, or other organization held out to the public as a place of deposit of funds or medium of savings or collective investment.
6. “Obtain” means:
a. In relation to property, to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of an interest in the property, whether to the actor or another.
b. In relation to services, to secure performance thereof.
7. “Property” means any money, tangible or intangible personal property, property (whether real or personal) the location of which can be changed (including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land and documents although the rights represented thereby have no physical location), contract right, chose-in-action, interest in or claim to wealth, credit, or any other article or thing of value of any kind. “Property” also means real property the location of which cannot be moved if the offense involves transfer or attempted transfer of an interest in the property.
8. “Property of another” means property in which a person other than the actor or in which a government has an interest which the actor is not privileged to infringe without consent, regardless of the fact that the actor also has an interest in the property and regardless of the fact that the other person or government might be precluded from civil recovery because the property was used in an unlawful transaction or was subject to forfeiture as contraband. Property in possession of the actor shall not be deemed property of another who has a security interest therein, even if legal title is in the creditor pursuant to a conditional sales contract or other security agreement. “Owner” means any person or a government with an interest in property such that it is “property of another” as far as the actor is concerned.
9. “Receiving” means acquiring possession, control, or title, or lending on the security of the property.
10. “Services” means labor, professional service, transportation, telephone, mail or other public service, gas, electricity and other public utility services, accommodations in hotels, restaurants, or elsewhere, admission to exhibitions, and use of vehicles or other property.
11. “Stolen” means property which has been the subject of theft or robbery or a vehicle which is received from a person who is then in violation of section 12.1-23-06.
12. “Threat” means an expressed purpose, however communicated, to:
a. Cause bodily injury in the future to the person threatened or to any other person;
b. Cause damage to property;
c. Subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint;
d. Engage in other conduct constituting a crime;
e. Accuse anyone of a crime;
f. Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject a person living or deceased, to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair another’s credit or business repute;
g. Reveal any information sought to be concealed by the person threatened;
h. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense;
i. Take or withhold official action as a public servant, or cause a public servant to take or withhold official action;
j. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott, or other similar collective action to obtain property or deprive another of his property which is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group which the actor purports to represent;
k. Cause anyone to be dismissed from his employment, unless the property is demanded or obtained for lawful union purposes; or
l. Do any other act which would not in itself substantially benefit the actor or a group he represents but which is calculated to harm another person in a substantial manner with respect to his health, safety, business, employment, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, or personal relationship.
Upon a charge of theft, the receipt of property in consideration for taking or withholding official action shall be deemed to be theft by threat regardless of whether the owner voluntarily parted with his property or himself initiated the scheme.
13. “Traffic” means:
a. To sell, transfer, distribute, dispense, or otherwise dispose of to another person; or
b. To buy, receive, possess, or obtain control of, with intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense, or otherwise dispose of to another person.