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Georgia men face identity fraud charges after arrest

Sometimes, people commit certain acts without knowing all of the consequences. This is the case with many criminal actions where the elements of one crime overlap with another. In these cases, Georgia residents can find themselves facing a host of varied criminal charges as a result of a single act. Identity theft or identity fraud is one example. When people steal credit cards or checks, they may think they are only committing theft without realizing that they can also likely be charged with identity theft.

In Georgia, three men are now facing several counts of identity fraud, financial transaction card theft, theft by receiving stolen property, and giving a false name and date of birth. The charges came after the men were arrested in a bank parking lot. The arrest was prompted by the report of a bank employee who thought the vehicle looked suspicious since no one exited after it parked. When the car was searched, police found driver's licenses, credit and debit cards and checks belonging to other individuals. After contacting at least one of the individuals on the driver's license, police found out that he had been robbed earlier that week. Police believe the men were involved in various crimes throughout the state prior to their arrest.

Prosecutors may charge people for identity theft or identity fraud for a variety of actions, including using someone else's information to make a false application for loans and credit cards, making fraudulent withdrawals at banks, or obtaining goods and services under another person's name. In some cases, just possessing personal documents of someone else, such as driver's license or credit cards, may be enough for an investigation of identity fraud.

Identity theft and identity fraud are serious theft-related offenses and they can be prosecuted under federal and state level statutes. Under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, for example, transferring or using the identification of another person without permission with the intent to commit or aid in a crime constitutes identity theft. When Georgia residents are accused of identity theft, it is important to immediately seek the advice of an experienced attorney. A criminal conviction for a fraud-related offense can have serious long-term consequences, including inability to obtain employment in a variety of sectors, as well as jail time or hefty fines.

Source: Gwinnett Daily Post, "3 wanted Ga. men arrested for stolen IDs, debit cards and gun," Aimee Jones, Sep. 9, 2013

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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