According to reports from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, a former employee has pleaded guilty to stealing the identities of over 100 clients while employed with the department.
Prosecutors said that the employee gained the personal information while working then sold the names and social security numbers to a third party for cash. She is scheduled for sentencing in federal court later in June.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will outline the offense as it is codified in the state of Georgia and as it is in state law.
Identity Fraud in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines identity fraud in Georgia by outlining the various ways that an individual can commit the offense. The statute is O.C.G.A. §16-9-121 and states the a person commits identity fraud when he or she both willfully and fraudulently:
- Without authorization or consent, uses or possesses with intent to fraudulently use identifying information concerning a person.
- Uses identifying information of an individual under 18 years old over whom he or she exercises custodial authority.
- Uses or possess with intent to fraudulently use identifying information concerning a deceased individual.
- Creates, uses, or possess with intent to fraudulently use any counterfeit or fictitious information concerning a fictitious person with intent to use such counterfeit or fictitious identification information for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of a crime or fraud on another person.
- Without authorization or consent, creates, uses, or possesses with intent to fraudulently use any counterfeit or fictitious identifying information concerning a real person with intent to use such counterfeit or fictitious information for the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of a crime or fraud on another person.
- Accepts identifying information, which they know to be fraudulent, stolen, counterfeit, or fictitious for the purpose of identification.
Identity fraud is classified as a felony offense in Georgia. This means that if convicted of identity fraud, the penalty can include up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
The penalties for subsequent convictions of identity fraud increase with each conviction.
Fraud Crimes in Georgia are taken very seriously by law enforcement. If you or a loved one has been accused or arrested in connection to a fraud crime, call our offices today.