Understanding the Federal Crime of Identity Theft

 Posted on June 30, 2023 in Identity Theft

IL defense lawyerIdentity theft is a serious white-collar crime that can have profound consequences for the sufferer of the crime, both financially and emotionally. In the United States, identity theft is classified as a federal crime, with violators subject to strict penalties set out in the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act and a range of other statutes. Today, we will explore the ins and outs of identity theft, detailing why it is a crime prosecuted with the utmost seriousness. If you have been charged with such a crime, do not wait to contact a criminal defense attorney to begin the process of establishing your defense.

Identity Theft 101

Federal law strictly prohibits the crime of stealing someone’s identity, such as in cases of interstate commerce, taxation, and other activities of federal institutions. Essentially, the law considers identity theft a fraud crime involving knowingly using another person’s identity for monetary gain or to commit a crime. According to the law, an individual can be found guilty of identity theft if they have knowingly transferred or used another person’s identity information, such as their social security number, driver’s license number, and more, in connection with fraudulent activities.

The most common form of identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s identity information to commit a financial-related crime. Because these crimes typically involve banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions, numerous federal statutes related to these institutions make them a shining example of a federal white-collar crime that is prosecuted aggressively.

Upon a conviction for identity theft under federal law, convicted individuals can face severe penalties, with the guilty party often facing fines and extensive prison sentences. This can vary depending on the number of violations as well as the magnitude of the sufferer’s financial losses.

Examples of Federal Identity Theft

These may include the following:

  • Tax fraud – Using someone’s stolen identity to file fraudulent tax returns and collect refunds is an excellent example of federal identity theft.
  • Healthcare fraud – Using an individual’s stolen identity to obtain medical services or prescription drugs is also considered federal identity theft.
  • Social Security fraud – Using someone’s stolen identity to collect social security benefits is strictly against the law.
  • Government document fraud – Using a stolen identity to obtain a fake passport, driver’s license, or another government-issued document may constitute a federal offense.

Contact a Chicago Federal Identity Theft Attorney

A common error many people make is not understanding that identity theft is a grave offense, where those convicted will almost certainly receive more than just a slap on the wrist. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that an attorney has the skill to defend you adequately. For a highly skillful legal counselor, contact the seasoned Chicago, IL, federal identity theft lawyer with Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.


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