People v. Jesus Rodriguez-Morelos

The summaries of the Colorado Court of Appeals published opinions constitute no part of the opinion of the division but have been prepared by the division for the convenience of the reader. The summaries may not be cited or relied upon as they are not the official language of the division. Any discrepancy between the language in the summary and in the opinion should be resolved in favor of the language in the opinion. SUMMARY September 15, 2022 2022COA107 No. 19CA0915, People v. Rodriguez-Morelos — Crimes — Identity Theft — Personal Identifying Information — Financial Identifying Information As is relevant to this appeal, the crime of identity theft, proscribed by section 18-5-902(1)(a), C.R.S. 2021, occurs when “[a] person . . . [k]nowingly uses the personal identifying information . . . of another without permission or lawful authority with the intent to obtain cash, credit, property, services, or any other thing of value.” The definition of “personal identifying information,” found in section 18-5-901(13), C.R.S. 2021, states that it is “information that may be used . . . to identify a specific individual.” A division of the court of appeals interprets “personal identifying information” to mean only specified information concerning single, identified human beings. The division therefore concludes that defendant did not commit the crime of identity theft when he used a nonprofit’s name and documents, without its permission, to recruit people to take classes from him. The division also concludes that the record of defendant’s trial did not contain any evidence to show that defendant used the nonprofit’s “financial identifying information,” which is defined by section 18-5-901(7), with the intent to obtain cash or any other thing of value. As a result of these two conclusions, the division further concludes that defendant’s conviction for identity theft must be vacated. COLORADO COURT OF APPEALS 2022COA107 Court of Appeals No. 19CA0915 Arapahoe County District Court No. 17CR1064 Honorable Jeffrey K. Holmes, Judge The People of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jesus Rodriguez-Morelos, Defendant-Appellant. JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, ORDER AFFIRMED, AND CASE REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS Division VI Opinion by JUDGE BERNARD* Dunn and Johnson, JJ., concur Announced September 15, 2022 Philip J. Weiser, Attorney General, Christine Brady, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee Megan A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender, Julia Chamberlin, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant *Sitting by assignment of the Chief Justice under provisions of Colo. Const. art. VI, § 5(3), and § 24-51-1105, C.R.S. 2021. ¶1 A jury found defendant, Jesus Rodriguez-Morelos, guilty of one count of identity theft, three counts of felony theft, and one count of criminal impersonation. He appeals the judgment of conviction and the trial court’s restitution order. We vacate the conviction for identity theft but affirm the other convictions, and we remand the case to the trial court to amend the mittimus accordingly. We also affirm the restitution order. I. Background ¶2 The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies investigated defendant after it received complaints that he was …

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