After Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, identity theft became a federal, as well as state, crime. If you are indicted for federal identity theft, you may have been investigated by agents from the Federal Trade Commission among others and you can be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Identity theft is so prevalent in the Pittsburgh area, that federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have collaborated to aggressively investigate and arrest those involved, through the specially-formed Financial Crimes Task Force of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Oftentimes identity theft occurs online, and federal investigators use sophisticated techniques to follow the path of Internet transactions and track them back to the computers used in the crime. If you are charged with federal identity theft, prosecutors will very likely have specific, detailed evidence to use against you.
If you believe that law enforcement is investigating you for identity theft or you have been formally indicted for identity theft, it is essential that you contact an experienced Pittsburgh federal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The earlier your attorney can begin working on your case and defending your rights, the better.
Identity Theft, Defined
A person may be charged with identity theft if they use another person’s identifying information without their consent, for any unlawful purpose. Federal identity theft occurs when the violation crosses state lines. For example, if you live in Pennsylvania, and you steal the birth date and Social Security number of someone from Maryland and use that information to obtain a bank loan, you can be indicted for federal identity theft.
Penalties for Federal Identity Theft
If convicted of identity theft, you face years in federal prison along with extensive fines and court fees. Long term, you will also have to deal with a permanent criminal record, and due to the nature of the conviction, you will have a hard time getting a job, keeping a job, or being trusted in your community.
Don’t let a one-time mistake or a wrongful accusation based on shaky evidence impact your life. Call today to speak with an experienced Pittsburgh federal defense lawyer who can walk you through the process and get the best outcome possible for your situation.