Identity theft is a crime which authorities in Pennsylvania take very seriously. However, penalties vary depending on the value of the stolen property. For example, according to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, if the total value of stolen property is $2,000 or more, it is considered a third-degree felony punishable by up to $15,000 in fines and seven years in prison on the state level. Identity theft crimes will also be considered a felony in the third degree, regardless of the value of the property, if the actions were part of a criminal conspiracy.
Three men in Pennsylvania have been accused of setting up an identity fraud scheme. One of the men, who could be sent to prison for up to 335 years, allegedly used public library computers and post office boxes to cover their tracks. Authorities say that he and the other two men, created fake documents such as employment records, driver’s licenses, bills and even Social Security cards and then used those documents to purchase vehicles worth $20,000 to over $30,000 during a two-year period.
It is unknown how the identity theft was discovered but one of the defendants has pleaded guilty. The fake documents were created with information from people who had excellent credit. It is unknown how the men obtained the alleged victims’ data.
White collar crimes, like identity theft, have the potential to destroy a person’s reputation and career. Those who are being accused of involvement in an identity theft scheme may benefit from working with an attorney who can ensure their legal rights are protected at this time.
Source: lehighvalleylive, “Phillipsburg man accused of stealing identities to take out thousands in loans,” Rudy Miller, May 29, 2014