State v. Barr, 218 N.C. App. 329 (Feb. 7, 2012)

(1) The evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction under G.S. 14-454.1(a)(2) (unlawful to “willfully . . . access or cause to be accessed any government computer for the purpose of . . . [o]btaining property or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises”). The State alleged that the defendant, who worked for a private license plate agency, submitted false information into the State Title and Registration System (STARS) so that a car dealer whose dealer number was invalid could transfer title. The defendant admitted that she personally accessed STARS to make three transfers for the dealer, that she told a co-worker to run a fourth transaction in a similar fashion, and that she received payment for doing so. The court also found the evidence sufficient to support a conclusion that the defendant acted willfully. (2) In a case in which the defendant was charged with violations of G.S. 14-454.1(a)(2) and G.S. 14-454.1(b) (unlawful to “willfully and without authorization . . . accesses or causes to be accessed any government computer for any purpose other than those set forth in subsection (a)”) as to the same transaction, the indictment charging a violation of G.S. 14-454.1(b) was defective when it stated a purpose covered by G.S. 14-454.1(a)(2). The court concluded that the plain language of G.S. 14-454.1(b) requires that the purpose for accessing the computer must be one “other than those set forth” in subsection (a).