The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 2021. Telecommunications fraud and facilitation of telecommunications fraud
(a) Definitions. As used in this section:
(1) “Telecommunications device” means any type of instrument, device, machine, or equipment that is capable of transmitting or receiving interactive two-way electromagnetic communication, including voice, image, data, and information, or any part of such instrument, device, machine, or equipment, or any computer circuit, computer chip, electronic mechanism, or other component that is capable of facilitating the transmission or reception of any interactive two-way electromagnetic communication.
(2) “Telecommunications service” shall be the service provided by a telecommunications service provider as defined in subdivision (3) of this section.
(3) “Telecommunications service provider” means a person providing telecommunications service, companies operating a cable television system as defined in 30 V.S.A. § 501(2), and companies operating a satellite system.
(4) “Unlawful telecommunications device” means a telecommunications device, identification code, or computer code that, alone or in conjunction with any other item, is used or is intended to be used to commit telecommunications fraud or facilitation of telecommunications fraud.
(5) “Traffic” means to sell, buy, receive, distribute, exchange, offer, advertise, transfer, or dispose of an unlawful telecommunications device, related equipment, or plans or instructions for manufacturing or using such devices.
(6) “Electronic serial number reader” means a device that is capable of acquiring or facilitating the acquisition of an electronic serial number, mobile identification number, personal identification number, or any code or encoded or encrypted transmission useful in originating, facilitating, or transmitting telecommunications service without the consent of the telecommunications service provider.
(b) Telecommunications fraud. A person with intent to defraud commits the crime of telecommunications fraud by:
(1) charging telecommunications service to an existing telephone number, calling or credit card number, account number, or other identifying subscriber number; or
(2) charging telecommunications service to a false, inactive, counterfeit, or stolen telephone number, calling or credit card number, account number, or other identifying subscriber number; or
(3) obtaining telecommunications service using a false, altered, or stolen identification; or
(4) obtaining or attempting to obtain telecommunications service by the use of an unlawful telecommunications device.
(c) Penalties. A person who is convicted of telecommunications fraud shall:
(1) if the benefit has a value of less than $500.00, be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both; or
(2) if the benefit is $500.00 or more in value, be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.
(d) Amounts involved in a violation of subsection (b) of this section under one course of conduct may be aggregated in determining the charge or the penalty for the offense.
(e) A person commits the crime of facilitation of telecommunications fraud who knowingly:
(1) possesses with intent to defraud, manufactures, or traffics in an unlawful telecommunications device or modifies, programs, or reprograms a telecommunications device designed, adapted, or that can be used:
(A) to commit a theft of telecommunications service; or
(B) to conceal with intent to defraud or to assist another to conceal with intent to defraud from any telecommunications service provider or governmental authority the existence or place of origin or destination of any telecommunications service; or
(2) manufactures or traffics in:
(A) plans or instructions for manufacturing or using an unlawful telecommunications device, except where the person manufactures or traffics in plans or instructions that are used for bona fide educational purposes exclusively; or
(B) material, data, computer facilities, computer software, computer hardware, reader, or other equipment knowing that the purchaser or a third person intends to use the material for the manufacture of an unlawful telecommunications device.
(f) Penalties. A person convicted of facilitation of telecommunications fraud shall:
(1) for a first offense, be imprisoned for not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both; or
(2) for a second or subsequent offense, be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $20,000.00, or both.
(g) Civil action. A person damaged as a result of a violation of this section may bring a civil action against the violator for damages and such other relief as the court deems appropriate. (1961, No. 86, §§ 1, 2; amended 1999, No. 35, § 2.)