The Crime of Identity Theft or Fraud

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In Louisiana it is a crime to take and/or use another person’s identity without their knowledge and permission. Use of another’s  identity is commonly achieved by using that person’s identification documents, for example: a driver’s license or birth certificate, fraudulently this crime may also be committed by using identifiable personal or banking information that belongs to another. Today, it is possible to perpetrate the entire crime over the internet by using your personal banking information to access your accounts and transfer money or make other unauthorized transactions.

Theft and use of personal identification information that belongs to another is a crime known as  Identity Theft and/or  Identity Fraud.

 

TITLE 14 — Louisiana Criminal law
RS 14:67.16 — Identity Theft

§67.16.  Identity theft

A.  As used in this Section the following terms have the following meanings:

(1)  “Disabled person” is any person regardless of age who has a mental, physical, or developmental disability that substantially impairs the person’s ability to provide adequately for his own care or protection.

(2)  “Person” means any individual, partnership, association, joint stock association, trust, corporation, or other business entity whether incorporated or not.

(3)  “Personal identifying information” shall include but not be limited to an individual’s:

(a)  Social security number.

(b)  Driver’s license number.

(c)  Checking account number.

(d)  Savings account number.

(e)  Credit card number.

(f)  Debit card number.

(g)  Electronic identification number.

(h)  Digital signatures.

(i)  Birth certificate.

(j)  Date of birth.

(k)  Mother’s maiden name.

(l)  Armed forces identification number.

(m)  Government issued identification number.

(n)  Financial institution account number.

B.  Identity theft is the intentional use or possession or transfer or attempted use with fraudulent intent by any person of any personal identifying information of another person to obtain, possess, or transfer, whether contemporaneously or not, credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value without the authorization or consent of the other person.

C.(1)(a)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained, possessed, or transferred, which amounts to a value of one thousand dollars or more, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(b)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is sixty years of age or older or a disabled person when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value of one thousand dollars or more, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than three years and for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(c)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is under the age of seventeen when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value of one thousand dollars or more, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than three years and for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(2)(a)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained, possessed, or transferred, which amounts to a value of five hundred dollars or more, but less than one thousand dollars, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(b)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is sixty years of age or older or a disabled person when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value of five hundred dollars or more, but less than one thousand dollars, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than two years and not more than five years, or may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(c)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is under the age of seventeen when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value of five hundred dollars or more, but less than one thousand dollars, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than two years and not more than five years, or may be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(3)(a)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained, possessed, or transferred, which amounts to a value of three hundred dollars or more, but less than five hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than three years, or may be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.

(b)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is sixty years of age or older or a disabled person when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value of three hundred dollars or more, but less than five hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one year and not more than three years, or may be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.

(c)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is under the age of seventeen when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value of three hundred dollars or more, but less than five hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one year and not more than three years, or may be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.

(4)(a)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained, possessed, or transferred, which amounts to a value less than three hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned for not more than six months, or may be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

(b)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is sixty years of age or older or a disabled person when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value less than three hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor, for not less than six months and not more than one year, or may be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

(c)  Whoever commits the crime of identity theft when the victim is under the age of seventeen when the credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained which amounts to a value less than three hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor, for not less than six months and not more than one year, or may be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

D.  Upon a third or subsequent conviction of a violation of the provisions of this Section, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than twenty thousand dollars, or both.

E.  When there has been a theft by a number of distinct acts of the offender, the aggregate of the amount of the theft shall determine the grade of the offense.

F.  In addition to the foregoing penalties, a person convicted under this Section shall be ordered to make full restitution to the victim and any other person who has suffered a financial loss as a result of the offense.  If a person ordered to make restitution pursuant to this Section is found to be indigent and therefore unable to make restitution in full at the time of conviction, the court shall order a periodic payment plan consistent with the person’s financial ability.

G.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any person who obtains another’s driver’s license or other form of identification for the sole purpose of misrepresenting his age.

H.(1)  Any person who has learned or reasonably suspects that his personal identifying information has been unlawfully used by another in violation of any provision of this Section may initiate a law enforcement investigation by contacting the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the area of his residence.  Any law enforcement agency which is requested to conduct an investigation under the provisions of this Subsection shall take a police report of the matter from the victim, provide the complainant with a copy of such report, and begin an investigation of the facts.  If the crime was committed in a different jurisdiction, the agency preparing the report shall refer the matter, with a copy of the report, to the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the area in which the alleged crime was committed for an investigation of the facts.

(2)  Any officer of any law enforcement agency who investigates an alleged violation in compliance with the provisions of this Subsection shall make a written report of the investigation that includes the name of the victim; the name of the suspect, if known; the type of personal identifying information obtained, possessed, transferred, or used in violation of this Section; and the results of the investigation.  At the request of the victim who has requested the investigation, the law enforcement agency shall provide to such victim the report created under the provisions of this Paragraph.  In providing the report, the agency shall eliminate any information that is included in the report other than the information required by this Paragraph.

Acts 1999, No. 1337, §1; Acts 2003, No. 844, §1; Acts 2006, No. 176, §1; Acts 2006, No. 241, §1; Acts 2007, No. 312, §1; Acts 2008, No. 95, §1; Acts 2008, No. 495, §1.

Identity Theft or Fraud occurs when one person represents themselves to be someone else with fraudulent or criminal intent.

 

If you discover that you have been a victim of Identity Theft or Fraud, we urge to take immediate action.

Immediately notify your bank and credit card companies. You should also notify the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies, if there has actually been fraudulent use of your credit cards or banking information.

 

  • Ø If you have been the victim of a robbery notify the police department in your area right away.
  • Ø If you are in Louisiana click bellow and follow the advice provided by the Louisiana Department of Revenue. If you are in another state, we urge to seek a similar website.

 

Remember, the information provided herein is not intended as legal advice; instead we seek to provide you with a general idea of what can happen during the legal process.

Always seek competent legal advice. The Charge of Identity Theft or Fraud  may have far reaching consequences.  Our Trial Team can provide you with expertise necessary to succeed. Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr. is an experienced, skillful attorney who, in 2013 won the acquittal of five defendants accused of murder as well as the freedom of many others. Mr. Regan´s can help you navigate the complicated legal service.

Knowledge, experience and skill matters.  At The Law Firm of Regan Law, P.L.C., our primary interest is to provide you, our client, with excellent representation.