On July 11, 2002, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the theft of trade secrets worth more than $50,000 could trigger a state statute requiring a minimum jail sentence as a condition of probation. The decision stemmed from the case of People v Farrell. Farrell had pleaded no contest to the theft of confidential information valued at over $2.5 million. A lower court had held that The Economic Crime Law of 1992 only applied to the theft of "monetary property". In coming to its decision, the Supreme Court considered that in drafting the law the Legislature had intended to remedy the "perceived relative unfairness arising from the light probationary sentences meted out to white-collar criminals, as well as to provide reliable tools to ensure that victims of white-collar criminals receive restitution". The Court determined that to not include trade secrets under the statute due to the difficulty in determining the value of the property would be inconsistent with the intent of the Legislature to punish white-collar crime. This case is available on Quicklaw: People v. Farell (2002) _ Cal.4th _ (S092183/H019633)


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