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Lund v. Commonwealth

Virginia Supreme Court
232 S.E.2d 745 (Va. 1977) (en banc)


Charles Walter Lund (defendant) was a graduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), where he was working on his dissertation. At the time, VPI leased a computer from IBM and allotted to certain departments a limited budget for computer use. In order to complete his work, Lund required access to VPI’s computer and the computer-center personnel. Ordinarily, a user would need to have an authorized administrator submit a request for computer use. The computer center would then issue the user keys to a post office box, from which the user would pick up computer print-outs. The user’s computer would also generate computer cards. After VPI received complaints of unauthorized computer use, Lund was found in possession of seven unauthorized keys, which he said he obtained from another student. He was also found in possession of several computer cards and printouts. Lund was charged with the theft of the keys, computer cards, computer printouts, and use of the computer and computer-center personnel while possessing the intent to defraud, with each property and service worth $100 or more. Lund was found guilty of grand larceny.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (I’Anson, C.J.)

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