Possession of Stolen Property by Corporation Employee In Texas

In Freeman v. State 707 S.W.2d 597, 603 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986), the court of criminal appeals considered the competing rights of a corporate representative and an employee who appropriated property of the corporate employer. The court held that, when an employee, who has the right of control over a corporation's property, acts unlawfully to deprive the corporation of its property, the employee relinquishes his possessory interest in the property. Freeman, 707 S.W.2d at 605-06. An owner is a person who "has title to the property, possession of the property, whether lawful or not, or a greater right to possession of the property than the actor." TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. 1.07(a)(35)(A) (Vernon 1994). Possession means "actual care, custody, control, or management." TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. 1.07(a)(39) (Vernon 1994). When stolen property is owned by a corporation, it is proper for the indictment to allege that the property was taken from the custody and control of a natural person acting for the corporation, a special owner. Castillo v. State, 469 S.W.2d 572, 573 (Tex. Crim. App. 1971).