Who’s The Victim?
In a recent case CAAF (Court of Appeals Armed Forces) overturned a conviction of a member for larceny. Army case of United States v. Williams, __ M.J. __, No. 15-0140/AR. Evidence showed he had taken the private credit cards of two other members, and used them to make purchases without their permission. One would think those two members were the victims of the crime. NOT SO, said CAAF. The actual victims were both the merchants from whom the goods were taken, and the financial institutions which were the credit card issuers. Since the government’s charge sheet noted the two credit card holders as the “victims” the charge was incorrect. The conviction was overturned. Whether this case can be used elsewhere, such as in civilian state or Federal courts, remains for smart criminal defense attorneys to argue.