In the age of the Internet and the automation of our day-to-day lives, law enforcement is increasingly focusing on the investigation and prosecution of identity theft crimes. These charges may arise months or years after the conduct in question occurred and are often the product of sophisticated investigative technologies that are unfamiliar to the average individual. At Reddin & Singer, we take pride in being on the cutting edge of criminal law, defending clients throughout the Milwaukee area against a wide range of charges, including identity theft. Attorney William Reddin and the rest of our committed staff will ensure you have dedicated legal representation from start to finish in your case.Wisconsin Laws on Identity Theft
Wisconsin law prosecutes a wide range of identity theft crimes, including:
- Credit card theft
- Check fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Medicaid and Medicare fraud
- Bank fraud
- Mail fraud
- Money laundering
- Tax fraud
According to the Wisconsin Office of Privacy Protection, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the state, and complaints grew by 46 percent in 2012. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that tax fraud, government benefits fraud, and government document fraud are currently the most rapidly growing areas of identity theft.
Wisconsin laws strictly prohibit the use of an individual’s personal identifying information. Any person caught in possession of someone else’s identifying information with the intent to use it without authorization is subject to criminal charges. This includes the use of personal identifying information to obtain a good or service, to avoid civil or criminal consequences, or to harm the reputation or property of another person or entity. Under state statutes, examples of personal identifying information include names, addresses, Social Security Numbers (SSNs), and Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs).
Wisconsin also criminalizes identify theft against businesses as well as against individuals. Thus, if a person uses or attempts to use the identifying information of an entity such as a business or other legally recognized type of organization, he or she can also be charged with unauthorized use of its identifying information.
When convicted of an identity theft charge, a criminal defendant may face up to six years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Repeat offenders may be subject to harsher penalties. Additionally, if the identity theft results in financial hardship to the victim, such as in the case of credit card fraud, the defendant may be required to pay restitution payments to the victim to reimburse him or her for the losses that he or she has suffered.Fraud Lawyers Serving Milwaukee Residents Facing Prosecution
If you or a loved one is facing prosecution for allegedly fraudulent actions, such as identity theft, it is important that you contact a qualified legal professional as quickly as possible. At Reddin & Singer, our fraud attorneys have several decades of experience representing Milwaukee defendants against criminal charges. As a former public defender, William J. Reddin has been repeatedly recognized as a Wisconsin “SuperLawyer” by Milwaukee Magazine and is available to help you fight back against an identity theft prosecution. For more information, contact us through our online form or at (414) 271-6400.