Retail Fraud: Definition and Penalties in the State of Michigan

The Michigan Penal Code outlines the three degrees of retail fraud that you could potentially be convicted of.

A first degree shoplifting charge occurs when a person does any of the following:

  • While the store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or in any other way misrepresents the price of an item with the intent to not pay for the item or to pay less than the actual price, when the resulting difference is over $1,000.
  • While the store is open to the public, steals an item from the store priced at $1,000 or more.
  • With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or store property as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to that store, if the amount of money or price of property to be obtained is $1,000 or more.

A second degree Michigan shoplifting charge occurs when the accused has done any of the following:

  • While the store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or in any other way misrepresents the price of an item with the intent to not pay for the item or to pay less than the actual price, when the resulting difference is between $200 and $1,000
  • While the store is open to the public, steals an item from the store priced between $200 and $1,000.
  • With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or store property as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to that store, if the amount of money or price of property to be obtained is between $200 and $1,000.

Retail fraud in the third degree occurs when a person does any of the following:

  • While the store is open to the public, alters, transfers, removes and replaces, conceals, or in any other way misrepresents the price of an item with the intent to not pay for the item or to pay less than the actual price, when the resulting difference is less than $200.
  • While the store is open to the public, steals an item from the store priced at is less thanĀ $200.
  • With intent to defraud, obtains or attempts to obtain money or store property as a refund or exchange for property that was not paid for and belongs to that store, if the amount of money or price of property to be obtained is less than $200.

Criminal Penalties for Shoplifting in Michigan

According to the Michigan Penal Code, criminal penalties for retail fraud in the first, second, and third degree are as follows.

  • First Degree Retail Fraud (felony): Jail time of up to 5 years and a potential fine of either $10,000 or three times the value of the stolen property (whichever is greater).
  • Second Degree Retail Fraud (misdemeanor): Jail time of up to 1 year and a potential fine of either $2,000 or three times the value of the stolen property (whichever is greater).
  • Third Degree Retail Fraud (misdemeanor): Jail time of up to 93 days and a potential fine of either $500 or three times the value of the stolen property (whichever is greater).

 

MICHIGAN STATUTE REGARDING RETAIL FRAUD:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(1lrrhiamk4g5x355cjzwz255))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-750-356c

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(0j5pi145yty0kjjpl5mtwlrp))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-750-356d