As used in this Chapter, the following words and terms shall mean:
- The attempt by publication, dissemination, solicitation, circulation, or any other means to induce, directly or indirectly, any person to enter into any obligation or acquire any title or interest in any merchandise.
- DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL
- The material", the original or a copy of any book, record, report, memorandum, paper, communication, tabulation, map, chart, photograph, mechanical transcription, or other tangible document or recording, wherever situated.
- EXAMINATION OF DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL
- The inspection, study, or copying of such material, and the taking of testimony under oath or acknowledgment in respect to any documentary material or copy thereof.
- Any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services.
- Any natural person or his/her legal representative, partnership, firm, for profit or not for profit corporation, whether domestic or foreign, company, foundation, trust, business entity or association, and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestui que trust thereof.
- Any sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, or attempt to sell or lease merchandise for cash or on credit.
- TRADE or COMMERCE
- The advertising, offering for sale, sale, or distribution, or any combination thereof, of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal, or mixed, and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated. The terms "trade" and "commerce" include any trade or commerce directly or indirectly affecting the people of this State.
The act, use or employment by any person of any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, unfair practice or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce or the solicitation of any funds for any charitable purpose, as defined in Section 407.453, RSMo., in or from the State of Missouri, is declared to be an unlawful practice. The use by any person, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise in trade or commerce or the solicitation of any funds for any charitable purpose, as defined in Section 407.453, RSMo., in or from the State of Missouri of the fact that the Attorney General has approved any filing required by this Chapter as the approval, sanction or endorsement of any activity, project or action of such person, is declared to be an unlawful practice. Any act, use or employment declared unlawful by this Subsection violates this Subsection whether committed before, during or after the sale, advertisement or solicitation.
Nothing contained in this Section shall apply to:
The owner or publisher of any newspaper, magazine, publication or printed matter wherein such advertisement appears, or the owner or operator of a radio or television station which disseminates such advertisement when the owner, publisher or operator has no knowledge of the intent, design or purpose of the advertiser; or
Any institution or company that is under the direction and supervision of the director of the division of savings and loan, director of the department of insurance, or director of the division of finance, unless the directors of such divisions specifically authorize the attorney general to implement the powers of this Chapter or such powers are provided to either the Attorney General or a private citizen by Statute.
A person commits the crime of deceptive business practice if in the course of engaging in a business, occupation or profession, he/she recklessly
Uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure, or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity; or
Sells, offers or exposes for sale, or delivers less than the represented quantity of any commodity or service; or
Takes or attempts to take more than the represented quantity of any commodity or service when as buyer he/she furnishes the weight or measure; or
Sells, offers or exposes for sale adulterated or mislabeled commodities; or
Makes a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of obtaining property or credit.
Deceptive business practice is a misdemeanor.
In the construction of Section 630.030, the following words shall have the meanings set out herein:
- Varying from the standard of composition or quality prescribed by Statute or lawfully promulgated administrative regulations of this State lawfully filed, or if none, as set by commercial usage.
- To take, obtain, use, transfer, conceal or retain possession of.
- A threat, however communicated:
- 1. To commit any crime; or
- 2. To inflict physical injury in the future on the person threatened or another; or
- 3. To accuse any person of any crime; or
- 4. To expose any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or
- 5. To harm the credit or business repute of any person; or
- 6. To take or withhold action as a public servant, or to cause a public servant to take or withhold action; or
- 7. To inflict any other harm which would not benefit the actor.A threat of accusation, lawsuit or other invocation of official action is not coercion if the property sought to be obtained by virtue of such threat was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances to which the accusation, exposure, lawsuit or other official action relates, or as compensation for property or lawful service. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification as to any threat.
- CREDIT DEVICE
- A writing, number or other device purporting to evidence an undertaking to pay for property or services delivered or rendered to or upon the order of a designated person or bearer.
- A person in the business of buying and selling goods.
- Purposely making a representation which is false and which the actor does not believe to be true and upon which the victim relies, as to a matter of fact, law, value, intention or other state of mind. The term "deceit" does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed. Deception as to the actor's intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he/she did not subsequently perform the promise;
- Varying from the standard of truth or disclosure in labeling prescribed by Statute or lawfully promulgated administrative regulations of this State lawfully filed, or if none, as set by commercial usage; or represented as being another person's product, though otherwise accurately labeled as to quality and quantity.
- OF ANOTHER
- Property or services is that "of another" if any natural person, corporation, partnership, association, governmental subdivision or instrumentality, other than the actor, has a possessory or proprietary interest therein, except that property shall not be deemed property of another who has only a security interest therein, even if legal title is in the creditor pursuant to a conditional sales contract or other security arrangement.
- Anything of value, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, in possession or in action, and shall include but not be limited to the evidence of a debt actually executed but not delivered or issued as a valid instrument.
- Acquiring possession, control or title or lending on the security of the property.
- Includes transportation, telephone, electricity, gas, water, or other public service, accommodation in hotels, restaurants or elsewhere, admission to exhibitions and use of vehicles.
- Includes printing, any other method of recording information, money, coins, negotiable instruments, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks and any other symbols of value, right, privilege or identification.
[CC 1983 §55.050]
A person commits the offense of altering an odometer if, with the purpose of misrepresenting to a prospective or eventual purchaser the number of miles traveled by a motor vehicle, he/she disconnects, changes or causes to be disconnected or changed, any mileage registering device on a motor vehicle so as to thereby indicate a different mileage than such motor vehicle has actually traveled. For the purpose of this Section "motor vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle not operated exclusively upon tracks.
[CC 1983 §55.060]
A person commits the offense of false advertising if, in connection with the promotion of, the sale of, or to increase the consumption of, property and services, he/she recklessly makes or causes to be made a false or misleading statement in any advertisement addressed to the public or to a substantial number of persons.
[CC 1983 §55.070]
A person commits the offense of bait advertising if he/she advertises in any manner the sale of property or services with the purpose not to sell or provide the property or services:
[CC 1983 §55.080]
The offense described in Sections 630.030 through 630.070 shall be included offenses in the unlawful practices prohibited by Section 630.020. No person shall be convicted of a violation of both Section 630.020 and of one or more of Sections 630.030 through 630.070 as a result of the same act by him/her.