State v. Jones, 367 N.C. 299 (Mar. 7, 2014)

Affirming the decision below in State v. Jones, 223 N.C. App. 487 (Nov. 20, 2012), the court held that the evidence was sufficient to establish identity theft. The case arose out of a scheme whereby one of the defendants, who worked at a hotel, obtained the four victim’s credit card information when they checked into the premises. The defendant argued the evidence was insufficient on his intent to fraudulently use the victim’s cards. However, the court found that based on evidence that the defendant had fraudulently used other individuals’ credit card numbers, a reasonable juror could infer that he possessed the four victim’s credit card numbers with the intent to fraudulently represent that he was those individuals for the purpose of making financial transactions in their names. The defendant argued further that the transactions involving other individuals’ credit cards actually negated the required intent because when he made them, he used false names that did not match the credit cards used. He continued, asserting that this negates the suggestion that he intended to represent himself as the person named on the cards. The court rejected that argument, stating: “We cannot conclude that the Legislature intended for individuals to escape criminal liability simply by stating or signing a name that differs from the cardholder’s name. Such a result would be absurd and contravene the manifest purpose of the Legislature to criminalize fraudulent use of identifying information.”