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What type of crime is theft by deception in Maine?

According to the laws of Maine, basic theft is “obtaining or exercising unauthorized control over the property of another with the intent of depriving the other person of the property.”

However, because there are lots of different ways for someone to “obtain or exercise unauthorized control over the property of another,” there are lots of laws that deal specifically with each of these different ways of doing it.

Theft by deception is one of them.

Theft by Deception

There are countless ways of deceiving someone. The possible lies that can be told in any given situation are literally infinite. It’s not uncommon, or difficult, really, to use deception to get someone else’s property.

The theft laws of Maine, however, see five different ways of deceiving someone. We’ll start off by summarizing them, before going through the most specific, complex ones in more depth.

Under Maine law, theft by deception occurs if you steal someone else’s property by intentionally:

  • Creating or reinforcing a false impression that you do not believe to be true,
  • Failing to correct a false impression that you created or reinforced,
  • Failing to correct a false impression, if you know it is influencing the person with the property, and if you
  • are in a “fiduciary relationship” with them,
  • Preventing someone from getting information relevant to the disposition of their property
  • Transferring property without disclosing someone else’s interest in it.

Some of these categories are very broad, and include lots of different ways of deceiving someone. Others are very specific, and are clearly only meant to make certain, small acts illegal.


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