2019 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 8 - Offenses Involving Theft
Article 1 - Theft
§ 16-8-14.1. Refund fraud

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-8-14.1 (2019)
  • (a)

    • (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to give a false or fictitious name or address or to give the name or address of another person without that person's approval or permission for the purpose of obtaining a refund from a store or retail establishment for merchandise.

    • (2) It shall be unlawful for a person to obtain a refund in the form of cash, check, credit on a credit or debit card, a merchant gift card, or credit in any other form from a store or retail establishment using a driver's license not issued to such person, a driver's license containing false information, an identification card containing false information, an altered identification card, or an identification card not issued to such person.

  • (b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of refund fraud and, upon conviction, except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, shall:

    • (1) When the property which was the subject of the fraud is $500.00 or less in value, be punished as for a misdemeanor;

    • (2) When the property which was the subject of the fraud exceeds $500.00 in value, be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years;

    • (3) When the property which was the subject of the fraud is taken from three separate stores or retail establishments within one county during a period of seven days or less and when the aggregate value of the property which was the subject of each fraud exceeds $500.00 in value, be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years; and

    • (4) When the property which was the subject of the fraud is taken during a period of 180 days and when the aggregate value of the property which was the subject of each fraud exceeds $500.00 in value, be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

  • (c)

    • (1) Upon conviction of a second offense for a violation of any provision of this Code section, in addition to or in lieu of any imprisonment which might be imposed, the defendant shall be fined not less than $500.00, and the fine shall not be suspended or probated.

    • (2) Upon conviction of a third offense for a violation of any provision of this Code section, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and, in addition to or in lieu of any fine which might be imposed, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days or confinement in a "special alternative incarceration-probation boot camp," probation detention center, or other community correctional facility of the Department of Corrections for a period of 120 days or shall be sentenced to monitored house arrest for a period of 120 days and, in addition to such types of confinement, may be required to undergo psychological evaluation and treatment to be paid for by the defendant; and such sentence of imprisonment or confinement shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

    • (3) Upon conviction of a fourth or subsequent offense for a violation of any provision of this Code section, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years; and the first year of such sentence shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld.

  • (d) In all cases involving refund fraud, the term "value" means the actual retail price of the property at the time and place of the offense. The unaltered price tag or other marking on property, or duly identified photographs thereof, shall be prima-facie evidence of value and ownership of the property.

  • (e) Subsection (b) of this Code section shall not affect the authority of a judge to provide for a sentence to be served on weekends or during the nonworking hours of the defendant as provided in Code Section 17-10-3, relative to punishment for misdemeanors.

History:

Code 1981, § 16-8-14.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2014, p. 404, § 1-1/SB 382; Ga. L. 2015, p. 5, § 16/HB 90; Ga. L. 2016, p. 443, § 13-2/SB 367; Ga. L. 2017, p. 774, § 16/HB 323.

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