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What Does it Mean to Be Charged With Possession of Converted Goods?

Possession of converted goods is a form of larceny. It is a serious crime which can be punishable by a hefty prison sentence and/or a fine. If you have been charged with possession of converted goods you should hire an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. 

What is Conversion?

“Conversion” is often tried in civil courts, but it can also be prosecuted as a crime. It involves using someone else’s property for purposes other than agreed on. It becomes a crime when it can be proved that criminal intent was involved.

To explain the charge of possession of converted goods, let’s look at the recent case of Brian Walshe, who was charged with misleading a police investigation into the disappearance of his wife Ana Walshe. Public attention has focused on the prior criminal history of Brian Walshe, who is facing prison for charges related to art forgery and wire fraud and now for the murder and dismemberment of his wife Ana Walshe. 

Prior to the disappearance of Ana Walshe, Brian Walshe had pleaded guilty to several charges including possession of converted goods. The goods in question were several authentic Warhol paintings that a friend had purchased. Walshe took the paintings from his friend and agreed to sell them at a good price. The art remained in Walshe’s possession, while the original owner was no longer able to contact him. Walshe used photos of the authentic paintings and a photo of an invoice with Warhol foundation numbers to convince a buyer to purchase imitations of the original paintings. 

Penalties for Possession of Converted Goods

Conversion of someone’s property or possession of converted goods is prosecuted under larceny laws in Massachusetts and federal courts. Conversion of property can include serious crimes like embezzlement. 

If you take someone’s property and use it for something other than it is intended or secrete the property, or take possession of it after you have agreed to give it back, the law takes this very seriously. Individual cases will vary in the severity of punishment and it depends whether the crime is prosecuted at state or federal level. The charge against Brian Walshe for possession of converted goods provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, according to US sentencing guidelines.

Punishments become more severe depending on the value of the property in question. Any charge under the umbrella of larceny that involves high value property should be taken extremely seriously. At Dhar Law, LLP, we have defended decades worth of complex cases in state and federal courts. There are many situations where a person is given permission to use someone else’s property but a misunderstanding results. We believe in the right to a fair trial and we can fight serious accusations like larceny, embezzlement or possession of stolen goods with a variety of robust defenses. If you find yourself facing these charges please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced Boston larceny attorneys immediately so we can get to work on your case.

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Heading up the firm, Vikas Dhar is widely recognized as a leader in the New England legal community. An accomplished business litigator and a “Top 40 Under 40” criminal defense attorney, he has also been honored as a New England Super Lawyer/Rising Star in the area of White-Collar Criminal Defense for each of the past six years by Boston Magazine.

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— Vikas Dhar
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