The government is getting aggressive in its fight against fraud and identity theft cases. See Tax Return Preparer Convicted of Identity Theft as an example. At Conaway & Strickler, we have handled many identity theft and fraud cases. A criminal identity theft case can begin in many ways, such as being arrested trying to cash a fraudulent check at the bank. Or, a person could be pulled over for a traffic infraction. Once pulled over, a search by the police may turn up multiple IDs, multiple credit cards, etc. The arrest may begin at the state level, but the fe ds then work to build a federal case against you while they have you stuck under the conditions of a bond. The biggest piece of advice we can offer if that person is you is DON’T SAY ANYTHING. There are potential motions we could argue that could benefit your case. The more statements one makes, the more information the government gains. Contact Conaway & Strickler ASAP so that we can guide you to a positive resolution to your case.
Another issue one could face is the concept of “relevant conduct”. If you are involved only peripherally, you could face an indictment with all co-conspirators, and thus face the sentencing guidelines related to the TOTAL loss amount by each individual involved. Once again, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer as soon as you can, to avoid the many pitfalls in navigating the criminal justice system.
As you can see in the example case cited above, that individual chose to use his constitutional right to a jury trial, and lost.