Tax time is known to bring about more identity theft cases than any other time of year. Perhaps it is all of the identifying information being circulated through the mail in combination with people waiting on tax refunds. There are numerous news stories in various local outlets talking about how to protect yourself from identity fraud, but there are also numerous stories of the people being caught in the act.
One West Palm Beach woman is accused of using her job to get names and identifying information of numerous clients of her former employer, Diabetes Direct. She is currently being held on $250,000 bail, $10,000 for each one of the 25 counts she faces.
According to the Palm Beach Post News, she is accused of racking up bills with utility companies, banks, and credit cards under her former clients’ names. Because she is reported to have an extensive criminal history involving numerous fraud convictions, she could be facing a lengthy prison stint.
Another story making waves, this one out of Tampa, involves a woman who had 40 prior convictions. This no doubt made a difference this past week when the woman was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison.
She pled guilty to charges of bank fraud and identity theft, no doubt as part of a plea agreement. According to 10Connects.com, she was accused of stealing licenses, social security cards, checks, wallets and purses. She would then use these articles to open accounts. In all she is said to have collected over $18,000 from her exploits.
Both of these cases are fairly typical when it comes to identity fraud. Under Florida law, if you are caught in possession of someone else’s personal identifying information (social security card, driver’s license, etc.), you can be charged with identity theft, a 3rd degree felony.
The charges are increased as the seriousness of the allegations increase. For instance, if you are accused of benefitting from the other person’s information financially, you can face up to a 2nd degree felony. This particular charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years and a maximum of 30.
When facing charges as serious as this, you need to be confident in your choice of defense attorney. Call me today to discuss the case against you and to get some useful legal advice.