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Articles Posted in Identity Theft

The Department of Justice just announced that U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland created COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to enhance enforcement efforts against COVID-19 related fraud.

Cases have included:

  • Offers to purchase COVID-19 vaccination cards

Identity Theft: People do what they think they need to do to make ends meet. However, if a person commits a crime, even a non-violent crime, he or she may end up in serious legal trouble. This can even result in significant time behind bars. This is what one woman and her brother are facing after being arrested for insurance fraud in Georgia.

The woman was working as an insurance claims adjuster and is being accused of abusing her position at the insurance company for which she was working. The Georgia Insurance Commissioner announced that the woman was arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from her former employer. The woman’s brother was also arrested for his role as a suspected accomplice.

Both of the suspects are charged with seven counts of theft, seven counts of insurance fraud and three criminal counts of identity theft. Apparently, the woman was producing fraudulent accident claims using her brother’s name and then issuing him settlement payments, according to the latest reports. Investigators claim that the woman’s brother received almost $80,000 between 2011 and 2012.

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.  

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