Often, we talk about white collar crime in terms of fraud or embezzlement, indicating theft or trickery designed to steal money from a large company or corporation. It is important to remember that many different criminal acts fall under the umbrella of white collar crime, and despite what the name may indicate, the victims of these crimes are not always corporations. Sometimes, individuals can claim that they are the victim of white collar crime, the most common type being identity theft.
Identity theft became a very large and serious threat in the last decade or so, particularly with the advent of the Internet. The relatively sudden increase in serious identity theft cases has caused the law to pursue such incidents more severely. As a result, identity theft is an extremely serious crime with significant legal penalties for those who are convicted.
As with many criminal acts, the severity of the consequences depends on the severity of the crime when it comes to identity theft. In Louisiana, the most extreme penalty is reserved for cases in which $1,000 or more were taken as a result of the identity theft; those who are convicted of such a crime could be facing up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Losses between $500 and $1,000 involve up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Additionally, repeat convictions will likely increase the penalties accordingly.
As you can see, identity theft is not a small issue where the law is concerned, and if you are accused of identity theft, it should not be a small issue to you either. If you are suspected of identity theft, or if you have been accused of identity theft, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you prepare a legal defense. A conviction could change your life.