YOU MIGHT WANT TO RECONSIDER THAT POSITION:
THREE FELONIES A DAY AND THE FACEBOOK BOOK EXCHANGE
In his book, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, Harvey Silvergate has posited that it is not uncommon for an average “law abiding” citizen to commit three felonies a day. You are probably sitting there proclaiming that you are not one of THOSE people, but if you have recently participated in one of the Facebook posts for “gift exchanges”, “secret sisters” or “book exchanges,” you’ve probably gotten your first felony out of the way already.
In the proposed exchanges, the poster says that if you buy 1 thing and mail it to someone, you will get anywhere from 6 to 36 things back. As nice as that sounds, it is a pyramid scheme and cannot sustain itself without someone being harmed.
The Texas Business and Commerce Code regulates things that are too good to be true. Section 17.46 provides that “False, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful and are subject to action by the consumer protection division…” It goes on to define false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices that “ include, but are not limited to, the following acts: . . . promoting a pyramid promotional scheme, as defined by Section 17.461.” Section 17.461 defines the pyramid scheme as “a plan or operation by which a person gives consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from a person’s introduction of other persons to participate in the plan or operation rather than from the sale of a product by a person introduced into the plan or operation.”
Here is the bad news for all of you who have shared the scheme on Facebook: “A person commits an offense if the person contrives, prepares, establishes, operates, advertises, sells, or PROMOTES a pyramid promotional scheme. An offense under this subsection is a STATE JAIL FELONY.”
In case you need to know, PROMOTE means: (A) inducing or attempting to induce one or more other persons to participate in a pyramid promotional scheme; or (B) assisting another person in inducing or attempting to induce one or more other persons to participate in a pyramid promotional scheme, including by providing references.
A word to the wise is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
This is just one example that many Facebookers are guilty of, but the list of potential felonies you may be unknowingly committing is a long one and grows daily. With so many laws (local, state and federal) on the books and new ones being written and passed almost daily, it is impossible to know, understand and follow them all. Even law enforcement, lawyers and judges don’t know and understand them all. That’s why they have law libraries, law clerks and paralegals to do the research.
You may consider yourself “law-abiding” and therefore worthy of exercising your right to keep and bear arms, BUT ARE YOU? Are you really any different than the ex-felon, who is denied their Constitutional Right, simply because you haven’t been caught… YET? You walk a dangerous path when you attempt to delegate rights on such ambiguous terms. Unless you have unlimited resources, access to an up-to-the-minute law library and the researchers to check your every move before you make it, then you may well be denied YOUR rights in the same manner that you support denying the rights of others.