Should Alex Rodriguez Be Charged With Larceny By False Pretenses?

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IMay 1, 2009

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on False Pretenses:

This offence consists of (1) obtaining title (2) to personal property of another (3) by an intentional false statement of past or existing fact (4) with intent to defraud the other.

False pretenses is a statutory offense in most jurisdictions. The subject matter of false pretenses is not limited to tangible personal property—statutes include intangible personal property and services.

For example the North Carolina false pretense statute applies to obtaining "any money, goods, property, services, chooses in action, or any other thing of value ..."[1]

Under common law, false pretense is defined as a representation of a present or past fact, which the thief knows to be false, and which he intends will and does cause the victim to pass title of his property. That is, false pretense is the acquisition of title from a victim by fraud or misrepresentation of a material past or present fact.

Note that it is essential that the victim of the false pretenses must actually be deceived by the misrepresentation, and the fact that the victim is deceived must be a major (if not the only) factor of the victim granting title to the defendant. Simply making a false promise or statement is not sufficient.

It is not a defense to a false pretenses charge that a reasonable person would not have been deceived by the false representation. No matter how gullible the victim, if he/she was in fact deceived, the offense has been committed.

On the other hand, the offense requires the victim believe the representation to be true. If the person to whom the representation has been made has doubts or serious misgivings about the truth of the representation, but nonetheless goes through with the transaction, he has not been deceived—he has basically assumed the risk of a false representation.

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I have written previously on the topic of the Steroid Era (for which I have a different name), and how I believe that the problems of steroids is really just an outgrowth of greedy owners who colluded against the players back in the mid-1980s and that the players merely resorted to unethical means in order to fight back against corrupt owners. 

Thus, the last 20 years of baseball has been nothing more than a cluster of greed between owners and players, while an insipid media (of deadbeat journalists and washed-up players) that is supposed to protect the powerless, sat idly by and were paid and empowered to mock and question the fans that they rob. 

And the fans of course just get robbed—kinda like homeowners lately.  Had the owners merely paid the players their fair share, then steroids would not have been a problem.  But that's like asking a dog to not chase a cat. 

That doesn't justify what the players did, but I don't feel bad for the owners.

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I wanted them to present a fair solution to the fraudulence committed against the fans over the last 25 years.  Charge Alex Rodriquez with Larceny by False Pretenses.

It is bad for the economy when a person who has committed fraud against honorable organizations like the Seattle Mariners, the Texas Rangers, and the New York Yankees and made over half a billion dollars—by the "possible" trafficking of controlled substances between the Dominican Republic and the United States—because he has in effect knowingly taken money out of the economy by deception.

It makes me wonder if Alex Rodriguez, who came into the league in 1994 as the first overall pick by the Seattle Mariners, is one of the progenitors of the steroid trafficking in baseball.  Consider that the rise in steroid abuse accelerated after the players strike in 1994, even though shades of it began in the 1980s with Lenny Dykstra.

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I believe I have been just as critical of the players as I have been of the owners, but that the players did not deserve prison for lying about whether they used steroids.  They deserve prison for stealing money and in effect defrauding the fans (sic, customers).

The bottom line, however, is the owners have the power to change it with the commissioner, Bud Selig, that they installed by coup in the early 1990s.

I have criticized Bud Selig for doing nothing on the steroids issue until it was too late, because the fact is, Selig ultimately benefited financially from juicers.  Whether he pulled every string is irrelevant, he was the invisible hand in a conspiracy of silence that has robbed millions of fans, many of whom were innocent children. 

Selig had the power to stop the problem with the Commissioner's clause of doing what's in the best interest of the game, but did not do so, because he collected money from the problems he claimed to reject.

So why don't you, Bud Selig, turn off the crocodile tears and actually make an example out of Alex Rodriguez by offering him up for court punishment? 

Do it for the better interest of the game.  The better interest of the economy.  And the better interests of the country.