Identity theft remains a severe problem in Michigan and around the world. Once a person’s identity or financial information becomes compromised, the resultant fallout could have incredibly costly consequences. People charged with identity theft-related crimes might face significant jail time because such charges may precede felony indictments. Not all identity theft crimes are identical, though.
Pretending to be someone else
Some identity theft crimes involve using identifying information to access bank accounts and withdraw money. Others may use the information to open a bank account or apply for a loan in the person’s name. However, not all instances of using someone else’s identity involve appropriating cash.
Claiming a false identity to use someone else’s medical insurance represents another type of identity fraud. The law does not look kindly on someone who used another person’s identity to procure insurance benefits. The same may be true when using someone else’s name to apply for a job and procure the other person’s references, show their credentials or pass any background checks. It’s identity theft if this ruse also includes using someone’s Social Security number and other identifying traits.
Business identities may be stolen
Imagine if a popular window cleaning and janitorial service serves the local area, and someone claims that they own the service. Falsely claiming to work for or own the service to procure clients and sell them services might be more than dishonest: The misrepresentation could lead to criminal charges.
False information and attempts at deceiving someone to gain a benefit may be deemed fraud. Regardless of the motive or self-serving claims of “no harm done,” a district attorney might levy criminal charges against the accused.
Identity theft takes on different forms, and anyone facing charges could be assigned significant penalties if convicted. Speaking with an attorney handling white-collar crimes may prove advisable.