How and why can OFFICIALLY DECLARED LOST ITEMS, get a person charged with 496a(RSP)(embezzlement)?


“How and why can officially declared lost items get a person charged with receiving stolen property at the airport? The Airlines have been known to embezzle ways out of fare compensation. Situation: What they do is have passengers come in to settle for misplaced bags and or items that they didn’t want to cover. I picked up lost items from the Airlines but I didn’t know these items were reported stolen. What can I do?”

Based on your assertions, you should have a great shot to beat your matter before a jury or otherwise. Get a custodian of records (through your lawyer) from the airline to introduce business records declaring the items in question as “lost” in their books.

And as far as your question is concerned: We often, as defense lawyers, ask ourselves why prosecutors file certain matters. The owner of the items in question must have informed the prosecutors that those items were stolen and in conjunction with that there may be some other allegations to support the notion that you had reason to believe the items were stolen. Those possibilities are mere speculation.

But, how can a prosecutor prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew the items were stolen when you were informed that they were officially lost or the holders of those items [here the airlines] told you that the items in question were “lost”? By the way what the airline tells you [e.g. the items are “lost” and not “stolen”] is not hearsay in a court of law because it explains your state of mind/knowledge, and is therefore admissible evidence.

All you can do is fight and make sure a good lawyer shows a prosecutor or jury if need be, that you were informed that these items were “lost” and in addition, the holders of these items also believed the items were lost. The clear defense is knowledge here.