Insufficient Check (Returned) Jurisdiction Cases In Texas

In Weaver v. State, 722 S.W.2d 143, 146 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1986, no pet.) the complainant Simpson responded to an advertisement by American Energy Systems (AES) concerning making window panes. Id. at 145. Simpson met with Weaver in Harris County. Weaver told Simpson he could earn five dollars for each window he made for AES. Simpson signed a contract agreeing to pay $ 5,000 for a security deposit and Weaver orally assured Simpson the deposit would be returned plus interest. Simpson gave Weaver a check for $ 5,000 at Simpson's home in Galveston County. The check was deposited in a bank in Harris County. The check was returned by Simpson's bank, in Galveston County, for insufficient funds, and the check was ultimately collected when an unidentified representative of AES personally presented it to Simpson's bank in Galveston County. The court concluded the evidence showed Simpson's insufficient check moved through Harris County, but there was "no evidence that Simpson's money was stolen or located in Harris County, as alleged in the indictment." Id. at 145. Thus, although Weaver induced Simpson to pay the $ 5,000 in Harris County, the court found the money was not "stolen" in Harris County. Hence, venue was not proper. The court further found there was "no evidence that the money acquired by cashing Simpson's check was ever taken to or through Harris County." Weaver, 722 S.W.2d at 146. The court concluded the State "failed to prove what it alleged, theft of Simpson's money in Harris County." Id. Weaver's conviction was upheld, however, because the court found the proof on the other counts supported the conviction for a second degree felony offense. Id. To the contrary is Salazar v. State, 711 S.W.2d 720 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi 1986, pet. ref'd). There, Salazar called a manufacturer and placed an order for merchandise to be delivered. Id. at 722. The manufacturer required payment prior to shipping so Salazar sent several checks. Id. Upon receipt of each check, the manufacturer made a shipment. Id. Several of the checks were dishonored, and subsequently theft charges were brought against Salazar. Id. the court found Salazar "exercised control" over the goods "insofar as he induced the victim to ship them." Id. at 723. Citing article 13.01, the court found venue proper because "an element" of the offense was committed in Cameron County. Ellis v. State, 714 S.W.2d 465 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 1986, pet. ref'd), agreed with Salazar that theft can occur when a victim is induced to ship goods that he would not have otherwise shipped." Id. at 474. However, venue was not an issue in Ellis, which involved theft based on falsification of credit records of various individuals, so that lenders made loans they would not have made had they received true credit information. Ellis contended that because the lenders did not repudiate the loans upon learning the true credit information, there was no proof of the lack of the owners' effective consent. Id. at 474. In Ellis, theft occurred because consent was lacking when the lenders were induced to loan the money.