Identity Theft Defense
Identity theft involves the use of another person’s identity to commit a crime. Just a few examples of these crimes are credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, and check fraud. Identity theft is considered a serious crime at both state and federal levels. If you are facing charges of identity theft, you will need the help of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who can build you a strong defense.
David M. Dudley is an experienced federal crimes lawyer with an almost unparalleled level of experience defending federal crimes. For the best chances at minimizing your penalties, contact Mr. Dudley for help.
What Are Examples of Identity Theft?
The following information is especially valuable to a person committing identity theft:
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Bank account number
- Credit card number
People use the information to impersonate someone else in the commission of a crime and sometimes sell identities online. This often results in a number of persons having the victim’s identity. This type of crime is very difficult for victims to handle because they do not know their identity has been stolen until a creditor contacts them for payment. Ferreting out the criminals by law enforcement and restoring good credit for the victim also can be extremely difficult.
What Are the Penalties for Identity Theft Operations?
The Identity Theft Enhancement Act, passed in July 2004, makes identity theft an aggravated crime and specifies sentencing guidelines for different violations of the law. Another law was signed a few months earlier, in December 2003, to create a national system of dealing with identity fraud. It’s called FACTA, or the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Because of this law, persons who suspect they’re victims of identity fraud may call a central office to let all three major credit rating agencies they have been defrauded to protect their credit ratings.
Punishment for identity theft often results in two convictions:
- One for stealing another person’s identity
- One for committing a subsequent serious federal offense (for example using someone else’s credit card)
Punishment is given for both crimes. A person convicted of aggravated identity theft must serve two years in prison in addition to the penalty for the crime of using another person’s credit card.
Identity theft related to terrorism is punished by an additional prison sentence of five years. The maximum sentence for the crime of identity theft for both state and federal acts of terrorism is 25 years imprisonment. In addition, people convicted of identity theft cannot serve their sentences while on probation.
Experienced White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing conviction, you should contact Mr. Dudley as soon as possible. He will evaluate every shred of evidence in your case and will do everything he can to get your charges reduced, if not dropped completely. Mr. Dudley has years of experience defending individuals charged with federal crimes. He knows the system and is your best bet for minimizing your penalties.
Selected Case Results:
- U.S. v. R.S.: Paying retail clerks and medical receptionists to scan the credit cards of customers, the defendant used the information obtained to manufacture counterfeit credit cards. When he was indicted federally, the government claimed that he had caused losses of over $1,000,000 to cardholders and financial institutions. After reaching a plea bargain which left open the issue of aggregate loss, Attorney Dudley convinced the court to apply a reasonable doubt standard to the government’s claim of how much money his conduct caused victims, even though the court was not legally required to use such a high standard. Applying that standard of proof, the court found that the government could only demonstrate losses of $420,000. The court then departed slightly downward from the resulting guideline range to impose a sentence of 46 months, 41 months lower than the government’s recommendation.
- U.S. v. W.R.: The federal government charged the defendant with causing more than $140,000 in losses as part of a credit card scheme. Attorney Dudley was able to negotiate a disposition pursuant to which the defendant received a sentence of only 15 months.
- U.S. v. W.C.: The defendant managed several major music artists. During a nationwide tour, an employee of his company used several fraudulent credit cards to pay for hotel rooms, airline tickets, and other expenses. The federal government subsequently indicted the defendant for mail and wire fraud. Before trial, however, Attorney Dudley was able to convince the Assistant United States Attorneys handling the prosecution to DISMISS the indictment against his client.