State v. Wright
Case #: A149357
Sercombe, P.J., Hadlock, J., and De Muniz, S. J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A149357.pdf
Criminal Procedure: A fact finder may logically infer, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a single transaction was the result of a continued scheme of defraudment based on previous transactions of similar nature.
Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for three counts of first-degree aggravated theft, ORS 164.057, and five counts of first-degree theft, ORS 164.055. Defendant defrauded the 82-year-old victim over the course of several months by borrowing varied sums of money from his home equity line of credit. Defendant would borrow a sum and subsequently deposit a small amount back into the account to create the illusion that she was paying him back. The Court of Appeals determined that there was sufficient evidence for the fact finder to infer that the transaction at issue, on January 11, 2010, was the result of a continued scheme of defraudment committed by the Defendant, as it was similar in nature to other transactions fraudulently committed by Defendant. The victim never used his home equity line of credit prior to the time he first lent Defendant money, the January withdrawal was the last one because Defendant fell under police suspicion, and the victim was confused and shocked by the amount of money missing. Although the money was not subsequently deposited into the Defendant's account, it was reasonable to infer she was still the one who withdrew it because Defendant frequently kept cash in a hotel safe instead of depositing it in the bank. It was reasonable for the fact finder to infer this was part of a continued scheme. Affirmed.