I have a practical example question that this applies to, so I'd like to know the answer in general, but specifically how it applies here.
Let's say I find something I'd like to buy on Craigslist, being sold on the order of $1000. Let's say I text with the guy, we meet up in public, and I buy the item with cash. Then let's say, it turns out it was stolen, the guy gets caught, and confesses to the police/victim and tells them my name/phone number/transaction details.
I have several similar/related questions about this scenario:
- How would this proceed? It seems like it would be very difficult to prove (short of getting public surveillance footage) that I even bought the item. What if I just said "sorry, I never ended up buying it." Surely they couldn't/wouldn't get a warrant to search my house?
- Let's say they somehow do prove that I bought it (very contrived, but the guy was recording our conversation or something). Could I be prosecuted if I didn't know it was stolen? That's what this section seems to be saying, but that sounds crazy to me, because it would mean basically buying anything puts you at risk.
I ask this because I was getting a little paranoid and was thinking about the implications of this: I'm imagining a scam where someone sells me a "stolen" item and then the "victim" (really their accomplice) says "I found out that you bought an item stolen from me, but the thief got away" and presents me with irrefutable evidence (e.g., a receipt for the item with its serial number) that the item was his. He could potentially threaten me to return it to him, and then I've lost my money (since the "thief" is in the wind) but they still have their item.
It's unlikely, I know, but I'm wondering what the legal implications of this would be. Thank you!