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What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is possessing another person’s identifying information without the victim’s consent or using someone else’s identifying information for your own financial gain or to defraud a third party.

Simply based on its name, the crime of “identity theft” sounds like it would require you to impersonate another person in all aspects of life, such that your coworkers, creditors, and even your own family would start doubting themselves about which one was the real you. Such a feat would be difficult to pull off in real life; the film Colour Me Kubrick is based on a true story, but the only reason that Alan Conway was able to get away with his fraud for as long as he did was that the person he was impersonating, the film director Stanley Kubrick, was so reclusive that hardly anyone interacted with the real Kubrick closely enough to form an impression of him. In fact, you do not have to be a convincing doppelganger for identity theft charges to apply; much more mundane actions can lead to charges of identity theft. Identity theft is a financial crime in which the stolen information does not have a dollar value by itself but can be used for your financial gain, to other people’s detriment. If you are being accused of identity theft, contact the Norcross, Georgia, financial crimes defense lawyers at Zimmerman & Associates.

Identity Theft is Fraud Using Someone Else’s Confidential Information

Charges of identity theft apply when the defendant obtains the victim’s identifying information without the victim’s consent. The charges can also apply if the victim knew that you knew the identifying information in question, but you used the information in ways that the victim did not authorize. Likewise, you can be convicted of identity theft if you received stolen identifying information and used it for your financial gain.

The stolen information could be a person’s Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number, to name just a few examples. In some identity theft cases, defendants have had access to victims’ identifying information through their work; one case involved a woman who worked at a doctor’s office and wrote down the account numbers and routing numbers from patients’ checks and then used them to make purchases by e-check. Other transactions that include identity theft include opening bank accounts or lines of credit in the victim’s name without the victim’s knowledge.

Penalties for Identity Theft in Georgia

Identity theft is a felony. For a first-time conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and up to ten years in prison. For a subsequent conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of $250,000 and up to 15 years in prison. The court may also order you to pay restitution to the person whose identifying information you stole or misused.

Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Identity Theft Cases in Georgia

An Atlanta criminal defense attorney can help you if you are facing criminal charges for financial crimes such as identity theft. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia, to set up a consultation.