One of the oldest crimes in the book is identity theft. Even in the late eighteenth-century people were acquiring others identifying information for an unlawful gain. Now in the modern world the internet and other electronic devices have expedited identity theft offenses worldwide. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Investigations recorded 1.4 million cases of identity theft in the U.S. during the year 2020.
These shocking statistics have urged law enforcement and prosecutors into action. Many Michigan local and state police departments now have investigative units reserved solely for identity theft cases. Prosecutors have also made combating identity theft a priority and will not hesitate to prosecute any person accused of the crime to the fullest extent of the law. That is why we highly encourage you to seek legal representation if you’ve been charged with identity theft in the state of Michigan.
Bloomfield Hills Identity theft Attorney | Oakland County, MI
If you’ve been charged with committing identity theft, you could be sentenced to time in prison and be required to pay expensive fines. Fight back against the allegations with experienced legal representation from Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. is an experienced Michigan identity theft lawyer with the skills and resources needed to fight your charges. He has assisted numerous people accused of white-collar crimes build their case and knows how best to defend them. Set up your first consultation with J. Dallo today to learn your legal options.
Schedule your first appointment with attorney Dallo by calling his office at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills, but we accept clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County including Sterling Heights, Fraser, Utica, Troy, West Bloomfield Township, Oakland Charter Township, Auburn Hills, Birmingham and Novi.
- What is Criminal Identity Theft?
- What is Employment Identity Theft?
- Michigan Unemployment Identity Theft
- Is Identity Theft a Felony?
- Additional Resources
What is Criminal Identity Theft?
We use our identifying information to complete various tasks and transactions throughout the day. That information, whether you’re shopping online or checking your personal checking account balance, is always at risk especially if the data is sent over a potentially insecure network. Any personal identifying information including credit card numbers, social security numbers, name, birth date, password, and other information could be utilized by another person for an unlawful gain. In most cases, offenders commit identity theft in an effort to secure credit, cash, or services.
Identity theft is defined under Section 750.539k of the Michigan Penal Code. According to Michigan statues, it’s illegal to use another’s personal identifying information with the intent to commit an unlawful act or obtain any of the following with the intent to defraud.
- Vital records
- Confidential phone records
- Medical records
Under the Identity Theft Protection Act, it’s unlawful to do any of the following with respect to telephone records.
- Obtain or attempt to obtain a confidential telephone record without authorization of the account holder by means of fraud, deception or other types of false means
- Sell or attempt to sell a confidential telephone record without authorization of the account holder
- Receive a confidential telephone record with the knowledge you received it through deception, fraud, or other false means and without consent of the account holder
The Identity Theft Protection Act also addresses a phenomenon known as “phishing.” This is where a person or entity impersonates a business through digital means in an effort to obtain personal identifying information of its customer base. The Act specifically states it’s unlawful to do any of the following:
- Create or operate an unauthorized web page that represents itself as a business or belonging to a business that solicits personal identifying information from its customers with the intent to use that information to commit a crime
- Send an email impersonating a business, without the approval or authority from the business or the business owner and use the email to request personal identifying information with intent to commit a crime with said information
- Use another’s tablet, smart phone, or computer to display an unauthorized message from a business asking for personal identifying information with intent to use said information to commit a crime
Sell, transferring, or attempting to do any of the two with another’s personal identifying information is illegal if there’s reasonable suspicion to believe the intended recipient will use the information to commit a crime. The Act also specifies it’s illegal to falsify a police report regarding identity theft.
What is Employment Identity Theft?
Most associate identity theft with stolen credit cards, social security numbers, or other types of personal identifying information. What you might not know is that identity theft is also common in regard to employment. Individuals may utilize a fake or stolen identifying information to secure an employment or contractual opportunity. Often victims discover employment identity theft when they receive a W2 or 1099 from an employer they never worked for or received benefits.
Identity theft is of course a serious crime, but if you’re accused of stealing another’s employment information the penalties are even worse. If convicted, you’ll be facing felony penalties including time in prison, expensive court fines, and will likely be forced to pay restitution to the alleged victim. That is why it’s extremely important you have a Michigan employment identity fraud lawyer on your side throughout every step of the case.
Michigan Unemployment Identity Theft
Some offenders utilize identity theft to secure unemployment benefits. This is especially common thanks to COVID-19 and the rise of unemployment among the general American population. In these cases, a person may use another’s social security number, employment information, name, and other personal identifying information to do one of the following:
- File an unemployment claim when one already exists for the individual
- Receive an IRS statement of benefits (Form 1099G) from Unemployment Insurance
- Notified by employer a claim for benefits was filed when the individual is still employed
Is Identity Theft a Felony?
In short, yes. Identity theft in Michigan is classified as a felony and is susceptible to penalty enhancement depending on the facts of the case. The act of identity theft is a felony under Section 750.593k of the Michigan Penal Code and is punishable by:
- Up to 5 years in prison
- A fine of up to $25,000
If this is your second identity theft conviction, then the penalty will be enhanced. You will instead face the following:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- A fine of up to $50,000
A third or subsequent identity theft conviction will result in:
- Up to 15 years in prison
- A fine of up to $75,000
In addition to the penalties described above, there’s a high chance you may be sentenced to pay restitution as well. The amount of restitution will depend on the circumstances of the case.
Attorney General | Identity Theft Recovery – Visit the official website for the Michigan Attorney General to learn more about what to do if your identity has been stolen. Access the site to learn what action items must be finished first, how to deal with stolen mail, how to place a fraud alert on your credit report, and more.
Michigan Identity Theft Laws – Visit the official website for Michigan Legislature to read up on their laws regarding identity theft. Access the site to learn the elements of identity theft, penalties, penalty enhancements, and other types of financial crimes.
Oakland County Identity Theft Lawyer | How to Beat Identity Theft Charges
If you or someone you know has been arrested for identity theft, contact Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. has dedicated years of his career defending clients of all types of white-collar crimes including identify theft. He understands how devastating a conviction can be for your life and future. That is why he works tirelessly for every client to ensure they secure the best possible outcome for their case.
Call Dallo Law, P.C. today to set up your first consultation at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. assists Michigan residents throughout Oakland County and Macomb County, Michigan.