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How Are Identity Theft Crimes Punished in Illinois?

 Posted on May 15, 2020 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerCrimes can consist of various actions, some of which do not always involve physical confrontations. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2018, 15 percent of all fraud complaints were related to identity theft. Overall, 33 percent of U.S. adults have experienced identity theft at some point in their lifetime. It can be relatively easy to find people’s personal and sensitive information on social media and networking sites, which can make them targets for phishing and imposter scams. Identity theft basically means representing yourself as someone else for financial gain. This offense is considered a form of fraud, which can carry significant penalties in Illinois. If you are facing charges related to identity theft, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you defend against this type of white-collar crime.

What Constitutes Identity Theft?

A person commits the offense of identity theft when he or she knowingly uses any personal identification information or documents of another person to falsely obtain credit, monetary funds, goods, and services, or property. An individual’s personal information can include name, address, date of birth, telephone number, Social Security number, credit or debit card account number, or passport. Types of documentation can include a person’s birth certificate, driver’s license, or state ID. In many cases, a person may use someone else’s credit card or debit card to make purchases, obtain a loan, or get cash out. Other acts include filing fraudulent tax refund forms or writing bad checks. Medical identity theft occurs when information is stolen, including health insurance member numbers, in order to receive certain medical services.

Identity theft typically includes three main types of actions:

  • Unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing account
  • Unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account
  • Misuse of personal information for a fraudulent purpose

Penalties for Identity Theft

Illinois penalties for identity theft depend on the value of the credit, money, goods, services, or other property stolen, as shown below:

  • Value is less than $300: Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison
  • Value is between $300 and $2,000: Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years in prison
  • Value is between $2000 and $10,000: Class 2 felony, punishable by two to seven years in prison
  • Value is between $10,000 and $100,000: Class 1 felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison
  • Value is over $100,000: Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years in prison

In all of the above cases, an offender can face fines up to $25,000. In addition, aggravated identity theft occurs when a person commits the crime against someone who is age 60 or older or a person with a disability or related to the activities of an organized gang.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Theft crimes can involve several different offenses, and they are taken seriously in the state of Illinois. Although many people may not consider it to be a criminal offense, an identity theft charge can have devastating consequences on your record and reputation. With more than 15 years of experience, the renowned Chicago, IL fraud defense attorneys at Luisi Legal Group are familiar with the Cook County court system and understand the laws pertaining to fraud. We will build a strong defense on your behalf so you can move on with your life. Call our office today at 773-276-5541 to schedule your free consultation.


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