Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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Identity theft suspicion leads to Georgia arrests

Identity theft can stem from a variety of fraudulent actions, from internet phishing to stealing personal information from medical files. Over a dozen Georgia residents were recently arrested on identity theft charges, several of whom are still being held in jail.

The arrestees are being accused of charges like stealing unopened mail from people's mailboxes or trashcans and filing fraudulent income tax returns, among other charges. Some of the arrestees allegedly collected information about elderly clients they provided care for and used the personal information to create fraudulent documents or accounts.

Though there are multiple charges being brought against most defendants, many defendants have been released on bail or had their charges dropped. It is important to remember that in the charging phase of a criminal prosecution, anything can happen. Evidence can be excluded from trial, rendering the prosecution's case flaccid. Witnesses may refuse to testify, weakening the case. Or in the best-case scenario, police and the prosecution can discover that the arrest was overreaching, and the arrestee was falsely accused.

In cases of cyber crimes and identity theft, evidence can sometimes be tenuous, barely connecting a suspect with a crime they allegedly committed. Even if a police officer believed that there was probable cause sufficient enough to make an arrest, that evidence can frequently be negated, rendered illegitimate or excluded from trial all together. Mishandling of an arrest or the evidence in question can also result in the charges being completely dropped or an acquittal of the charges down the line.

Someone who has been accused of theft should remember that they will never fight alone with the support of an experienced defense attorney on their side.

Source: WALB News 10, "Tift ID theft ring busted," Tara Herrschaft, May 13, 2013

1 Comment

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Former Federal Prosecutors

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