THE COURT OF APPEALS, CRIMINAL DIVISION.
January 12, 2000.
Appeal No. 99-81057. Stop No. 390.
BULLETIN CRIMINAL (Flash).
Doucet, Jean-Paul , La Gazette du Palais, No. 187, 05.07.2000, pp. 16-17
Véron, Michel , Criminal Law, 6, 01/06/2000, p.10
Ruling on the appeal by: – Txxxx Peter
against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Rennes, third bedroom, dated January 21, 1999, which for fraudulent abuse of a state of ignorance or weakness of the state of a person particularly vulnerable, the sentenced to one year of imprisonment, 50,000 francs fine and stayed the proceedings on the civil, having regard to the product;
On the sole ground of appeal alleging infringement of Articles 313-4, 313-1 of the Penal Code, 593 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the absence of reasons, lack of legal basis;
‘In that the judgment said the accused guilty of the offense of abuse of ignorance or weakness of vulnerable person;
‘On the grounds that René Rxxxx vulnerability is proven and can not be ignored by Pierre Txxxx that in the presence of conflicting estimates, has not verified the accuracy of the price fixed for the sale of land or 185,000 francs, and that the circumstances of the sale and the difference between price and value of the property, between 282,000 francs and 320,000 francs, eventually sold to a third party 322 000 francs, establish that the accused had the intention not only to make an interesting real estate transaction, but also to take advantage of the weakness of René Rxxxx, to force him to sign a sales agreement at a price minus knowingly in a high proportion, it does not matter in this regard that the disputed contract n ‘has not been followed and that its validity was questionable on the grounds that the land in question belonged to a succession not yet resolved, the issues of civil law is indifferent to the constitution of the offense, while the sales agreement could be as definitive in the spirit of Pierre Txxxx at its conclusion;
‘While, on the one hand, the crime of abuse of weakness is formed only if the abuse was seriously prejudicial actually achieved through the act or forbearance, without which it that could be an attempt to abuse of weakness, which is not punishable by law in the state of the findings above, with the result that the sale agreement at issue n had not been implemented, its validity is questionable, given the well belonging to an estate not yet settled and it was eventually sold to a third party to a value greater than its estimated value, the components of the offense in not being met, the appellate court’s decision deprived of legal basis;
‘While, on the other hand, based on the estimated value of the field suggests that the price offered by the purchaser was intentionally understated, while criticizing it for not, in the presence of estimates contradictory, confirmed the accuracy of the price, the Court of Appeal held by contradictory reasons, leaving the decision as a legal basis’;
Whereas, for the accused guilty of fraudulent abuse of a state of ignorance or weakness of the state of a person particularly vulnerable, the Court of Appeal notes that physician René Rxxxx, Pierre knew that Txxxx general health, physical and mental, of his patient had deteriorated, he got it signed a deed of sale, subject to conditions precedent, land and the price provided for in this act was abnormally low, it adds that Txxxx Pierre, who had failed to consider whether the price set by him was justified, he intended to make an interesting real estate transaction for his own benefit and that any that the act, which seriously harmed the interests of René Rxxxx subsequently placed under guardianship, was not echoed by his legal representative;
Whereas in saying so, the Court of Appeal, which found the sovereign existence of fraudulent intent arising from the absence of any verification of the fixed price, justified its decision;
That indeed, if Article 313-4 of the Penal Code provides that the act resulting in the victim must be such as to cause him serious harm, it does not require that the act is valid or that the damage will be realized;
Hence it follows that the plea must be rejected;
And whereas the stop is properly drawn up;
Dismiss the appeal.
On the report of the Councillor Palisse, observations of civil society working LYON-CAEN, Fabian and Thira, advocate in the Court, and the conclusions of the Advocate General GERONIMI M. GOMEZ president.