About Identity Theft Laws, Charges & Convictions
Identity theft is where you attempt to take the identity of another person. Typically, this is done to get to the resources of another person, and/or to acquire credit or other benefits in the name of that person. The victim of this crime can suffer very bad consequences if they are held accountable for what the criminal does in their name.
Identity theft can be categorized in the following ways:
- Criminal ID theft: Posing as another individual when you are arrested for a crime
- Financial ID theft: Using the identity of another person to get credit and goods
- ID cloning: Using the information of another person to take his or her identity
- Medical ID theft: Using another person’s identity to get drugs or medical care
Identity theft can also be used to do other crimes, including terrorism, espionage and illegal immigration.
There are more than 10 million cases of identity theft per year in the United States.
Identity theft was made a felony in 2004 by President Bush, and the minimum sentence was increase from three to five years.
About Identity Theft Laws in Massachusetts
There is a substantial problem with identity theft in Massachusetts. This crime is very commonly involved in illegal immigration and various criminal activities on the Internet.
In the state of Massachusetts, if you are convicted of identity theft, you can be fined up to $5000 and serve up to 2.5 years in jail. Also, you will be required to make financial restitution to the victim. This could include having to pay for any repair the person needs to his or her credit.
The most common types of identity theft are:
- Credit card fraud
- Utilities fraud
- Bank fraud
- Employment fraud
- Loan fraud
- Government fraud
- Other – including insurance fraud
Identity Theft Statistics
There were 800,000 complaints of identity theft in the US in 2007. Also, in 2010, there were more than 70 million identities that were lost because of mishandling of personal information by corporations. This led to over $1 billion in losses by consumers.
The FBI aggressively pursues identity theft cases, but tends to focus on organized gangs of ID thieves that often involve many victims. Pending cases of identity theft from 2003-06 are below:
- 2003: 1,582
- 2004, 1,574
- 2005: 1,678
- 2006: 1,255
If you have been accused of identity theft, or any other serious crime, contact the Law Offices of Geoffrey G. Nathan, a top Mass criminal defense lawyer. He has the experience and legal skills needed to handle serious criminal matters. To arrange an office consultation, contact us now.