Possession of Stolen Property
If one individual has purchased an item from another, and said purchase is discovered several months later to have been stolen from a third party by the seller, what are the legal repercussions for the purchaser? If a bill of sale exists, does this change anything? In this situation, is the purchaser of the stolen property breaking the law?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Possession of Stolen Property
The seller of stolen property cannot convey anymore property interest in the item than he has. Therefore, he cannot transfer to the purchaser any interest in the property greater than than of the true owner, and if the alleged true owner can prove it is his property, it can be returned to him by the court. If there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the purchaser knew the propery was stolen at the time of purchase, he may be criminally responsible for receiving stolen propery.
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