Massachusetts G.L. c. 266, §60: Receiving Stolen Goods

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266, section 60 makes it a criminal offense to buy, receive or aid in the concealment of stolen or embezzled property, knowing it to have been stolen or embezzled.

In order to convict an individual of receiving stolen property, the government is required to prove all the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The property in question was in fact stolen. While the Commonwealth need not prove the identity of the person who stole the property, it must prove that someone had taken the property without consent of the owner and without right and with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently.
  2. The defendant knew or believed that the property was stolen. This involves a question of the defendant’s actual knowledge or belief and not a question of whether a reasonable person would have known or believed the property to be stolen. A negligent or reckless failure to ask whether property was stolen is not enough to satisfy this element. All of the facts and circumstances are considered. Factors to be considered may include the price, the circumstances of receipt, whether cash payment was required, the type of seller, whether the defendant had past dealings with the thief, and whether the defendant possessed numerous stolen items. The Commonwealth can satisfy this element even if the defendant didn’t know at the time of receipt that the property was stolen if it proves that the defendant later found out that the property was stolen and decided to keep the property anyway.
  3. The defendant knowingly possessed the property, knowingly bought the stolen property, or knowingly aided in concealment of the stolen property. The Commonwealth does not need to prove that the defendant profited in any way.

The statute also prohibits the buying, receiving or aiding in the concealment of property with the intent to defraud and with knowledge that it was obtained by false pretense of carrying on a business and the obtaining or exertion of control over property, explicitly represented as being stolen, in the custody of law enforcement.

Massachusetts theft crimes lawyer Stephen Neyman has represented individuals charged with receiving stolen goods and all other criminal offenses for nearly 30 years and has consistently obtained excellent results for his clients.

Penalty for Property under $250

If an individual is convicted of receiving stolen property under G.L. c. 266, §60, the individual will face the following penalties:

  1. First Offense: imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or a fine of not more than $1,000.
  2. Second or Subsequent Offense: imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.
Penalty for Property over $250

If the value of such property exceeds $250, the penalty which can be imposed is imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine by not more than $5,000, or both.

Common Receiver Defense Lawyer

General Laws chapter 266, section 62 makes it a crime to be a “common receiver” of stolen goods. That statute provides that “[w]hoever is convicted of buying, receiving or aiding in the concealment of stolen or embezzled property, knowing it to have been stolen or embezzled, having been before convicted of the like offence, and whoever is convicted at the same sitting of the court of three or more distinct acts of buying, receiving or aiding in the concealment of money, goods or property stolen or embezzled” shall be punished by a state prison term of up to 10 years.

Receiving Stolen Property Defense Lawyer

Under the Massachusetts receiving stolen property statute, the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had actual knowledge that the property was stolen. Therefore, arguing that the defendant purchased or received an item in good faith and had no actual knowledge that the property was stolen is often a viable defense option. In other types of cases, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to show that the item was not stolen. Of course, the defense is always based on the facts of the particular case, and a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense attorney will explore all angles.

Receiving Stolen Property Attorney in Massachusetts (617) 263-6800

Massachusetts Attorney Stephen Neyman has represented clients accused of receiving stolen property and all other crimes in courts throughout the state. Attorney Neyman has almost 30 years of experience representing individuals charged with criminal offenses in Massachusetts and consistently achieves the best possible results for his clients. If you have been charged with receiving stolen property or any other crime in Massachusetts, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Stephen Neyman, P.C. at (617) 263 6800 or through his website.

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