What is identity theft?
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that some nine million Americans are the victims of identity theft. In response to this staggering statistic, Congress passed the Federal Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA) in 1998. The ITADA is the first federal law to address identity theft. In other words, before ITADA was passed in 1998, there were no federal laws on the books to make identity theft illegal. Under ITADA, it is illegal to use someone else’s personal information—such as social security numbers and PINs—to access their accounts. It is also illegal to use a stolen identification document issued by a governmental agency—such someone else’s driver’s license or social security card. Additionally, it is also illegal under ITADA to fraudulently open an account in someone else’s name.
What charges are associated with identity theft?
Depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case, identity theft is usually associated with other crimes. These crimes include wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and computer fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as the Secret Service and other federal agencies are authorized to investigate these crimes. Each one of these crimes carries stiff penalties.
What are the penalties for identity theft?
If you’re charged with identity theft, you most likely will be facing prosecution by federal authorities. If convicted of identity theft, you can face up to 15 years in prison in addition to substantial fines. You will also be required to forfeit any property that you gained as a result of identity theft.
Identity theft is a serious crime that carries significant and far-reaching consequences. The experienced criminal defense attorneys of The Turner Firm can help. Call us today for a free consultation!