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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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Identity Theft Federal Law

By Spodek Law Group | February 15, 2023

Federal Crime of Identity Theft – Explained by Spodek Law Group

Identity theft is a common and serious crime that occurs when someone fraudulently uses another person’s personal information for economic gain or to impersonate them. It is a form of deception that often involves false statements, misrepresentations, or other illicit methods. Identity thieves may steal personal identifying information or use stolen identities without the owner’s consent, which can have significant consequences for the victim.

It is essential to note that identity theft cases are usually prosecuted in state courts. However, if the amount of stolen money is significant or if multiple identities are used to commit other crimes, the federal government may intervene. In this article, we will focus on the federal crime of identity theft under 18 U.S.C § 1028.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft under 18 U.S.C. § 1028 occurs when someone misuses another person’s identifying information, whether personal or financial, to commit fraud or other types of crimes. Personal identifying information can include social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account or credit card information, and PIN numbers obtained through the internet.

The most common methods used to gain access to personal identifying information include unsecured networks or internet purchasing scams. Common federal identity theft charges include using someone’s credit card to make online purchases, submitting fraudulent credit card applications, using counterfeit credit cards or driver’s licenses, and forging signatures on checks, credit cards, or debit card purchases.

Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act

Identity theft is a pervasive problem in the United States, with millions of victims each year. In response, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act in 1998, which amended 18 U.S.C. § 1028 to make it a federal crime to knowingly commit, attempt to commit, or aid in committing identity theft.

As a federal crime, identity theft cases fall under the jurisdiction of the United States District Court. If identity theft occurs with another felony crime, federal prosecutors may use a more severe penalty against the defendant if the other felony carries a longer sentence than the identity theft crime.

It is important to note that unlawful schemes to commit identity theft or fraud may also violate related federal statutes, such as credit card fraud, social security fraud, computer hacking, mail fraud, and wire fraud. These federal crimes carry severe penalties, fines, and criminal forfeiture.

Investigating Federal Identity Theft Schemes

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for investigating federal identity theft cases. They work in partnership with other federal, state, and local task forces to investigate sophisticated and large-scale schemes that involve significant amounts of money.

Several types of stolen identities are used to commit an 18 U.S.C. § 1028 federal identity theft crime. These include Social Security numbers, dates of birth, birth or death certificates, addresses, telephone numbers, passport numbers, bank or credit card numbers, parents’ maiden names, and Medicare numbers.

Aggravated Identity Theft

The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act of 2004 created enhanced penalties for aggravated identity theft, which is using someone’s identity to commit felony crimes, such as stealing Social Security benefits, committing domestic terrorism, and violating immigration laws. The penalty for aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C § 1028A is two additional years for a general-related offense and five years for a terrorism-related offense.

It is important to note that the two or five-year sentence is in addition to any United States Sentencing Guidelines sentence for the other indicted charges. Therefore, a conviction for identity theft can be life-altering, especially if it involves related crimes such as credit card fraud or computer crimes.

Penalties for Federal Identity Theft

The penalties for federal identity theft can vary depending on the severity of the crime. If convicted of producing or transferring identification or counterfeit, possessing equipment to produce documents, or fraudulently obtaining currency or goods up to $1,000, the penalties include up to 15 years in federal prison and large fines.
If convicted of identity theft related to drug trafficking, a violent crime, or a prior identity theft conviction, the penalties include up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted of identity theft connected to aiding or committing domestic or international terrorism, the penalties can result in up to 30 years of imprisonment.

Fighting Federal Identity Theft Charges

If you are under investigation for federal identity theft, it is vital to protect your rights and avoid self-incrimination. You should not consent to an interview with federal law enforcement agents without consulting an attorney. If you know you are under investigation for identity theft or identity fraud, contact the Spodek Law Group’s federal criminal defense lawyers to guide you through critical early decisions on how to handle investigators or federal prosecutors.
It is worth noting that federal identity theft cases often involve related crimes, and a conviction can be life-altering. Our skilled attorneys can take steps to minimize the consequences of an arrest by reviewing all the details of the case and determining the best possible strategy for the most favorable outcome.

Identity theft is a grave crime that can have severe consequences. Under federal law, it is illegal to misuse someone’s personal or financial identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes. The penalties for federal identity theft can be significant, depending on the severity of the crime, and can lead to large fines and lengthy prison sentences.
If you are facing federal identity theft charges, it is essential to seek the help of experienced criminal defense lawyers, such as those at the Spodek Law Group, to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.

Remember, if you are under investigation for federal identity theft, do not consent to an interview with federal law enforcement agents without consulting an attorney. Our attorneys can take steps to minimize the consequences of an arrest and help you obtain the most favorable outcome for your case.

At Spodek Law Group, our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and skill to provide you with the support and guidance you need to overcome the charges against you. We know how to build a strong defense, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and fight tirelessly to protect your rights and your future.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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