Bill inserts crime of virtual embezzlement in the Penal Code

PSL Federal Congressmen, Ubiratan Sanderson and Major Fabiana, elaborated Bill n.º 3376/2020, with the purpose of creating the crime of virtual embezzlement in the Penal Code. The text, yet to be voted by the National Congress, establishes that the penalty provided for such violation is 2 to 10 years and a fine, doubling the penalty for the crime of embezzlement as currently foreseen.

Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, with the social isolation fulfilled by part of the population, the use of the internet has become more intense and diversified. Therefore, new types of fraud for obtaining illicit advantages to the detriment of others have appeared.

The Congressmen justify the Bill stating that the virtual embezzlement grew around 74% in the month of May in the State of Rio Grande do Sul compared to the same month in the last year and assert that this increase occurred due to the reduction of other patrimonial crimes, such as thefts and larceny, by virtue of the restrictions on social coexistence caused by the pandemic, serving, therefore, as a kind of alternative for those who practice these types of crimes.

Besides justifying that this increase occurred due to the restraints of the social life, the Congressmen also affirm that virtual embezzlement has been facilitated, “in view of anonymity and relaxation of criminal legislation”.

The Bill proposes the inclusion of the crime of virtual embezzlement in article 171, §6º of the Penal Code, and should be understood as the practice of, according to the text, obtaining an illicit advantage through invasion, tampering or cloning of instant messaging applications and voice calls to smartphones or the use of computer network, communication device or computerized system.