Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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Man accused of identity theft, stealing thousands from banks

Gone are the days when theft only referred to robbery or physical possession of stolen property-in today's technologically advanced era theft of thousands of dollars can take place without ever leaving the confines of one's own home. Among the various types of theft, the one growing at the fastest rate in the nation may be identity theft. This is when someone's personal information-social security number, PIN numbers, credit history-are obtained either by illegally accessing government or financial institutions or through stealing mail, wallets and debit or credit cards.

Just because it does not sound as threatening as a robbery, identity theft is a very serious crime and carries serious penalties because it robs victims of their peace of mind, money and time. Victims are often clueless about the theft until they see the charges on their bills. This may be why a city in Georgia's police force is asking the supposed victims of an alleged 57-year-old identity thief to step forward and identify themselves.

According to the police, the man has stolen around $10,000 from banks in Georgia and another state. He was arrested while he was supposedly trying to make a large withdrawal from a bank inside a large department store. According to the police, he was using the identity of a president of an out-of-state technology company.

Confiscating a fake ID and driver's license, the police charged the man with giving false information to a police officer, two counts of identity theft, forgery and possession of false identification documents.

Theft charges, be it identity theft or credit card theft, are very serious and should be treated as such. There are two sides of every story and Georgia residents should be aware they have the right to be heard in court-despite how the media paints them they are innocent until proven guilty and should be prepared to defend themselves aggressively.

Source: walb.com, "Identity thief arrested, stole thousands from banks," Shannon Wiggins, July 2, 2014

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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