Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Georgia Man Faces 79 Felonies After Repeated Identity Fraud

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Bartow County is currently experiencing a very unique spree of crimes. Dustin Funk was arrested last week on 79 felony charges. 

Funk has been accused of operating under different aliases when going to local Georgia hospitals and obtaining prescriptions for high-risk narcotics such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
This is not of unheard of, and in fact, people get caught using other people's identities when trying to get narcotic prescriptions rather frequently in Georgia. However, this case is unique because of the number of times Funk was reported to engage in the criminal activity. 

He allegedly visited hospitals 29 times as of right now. Authorities are expecting more to be added to the list as they continue their investigation. 

Out of all the charges Funk is facing, I would like to focus on his identity fraud charges in today's post. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind identity fraud and aggravated identity fraud in Georgia.

Identity Fraud in Georgia

Georgia law defines identity fraud in Georgia as:

A person commits the offense of identity fraud when he or she 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; or
  • 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. O.C.G.A.§16-9-121.

Identity fraud is classified as a felony in Georgia. If convicted, the punishment can range from  one to ten years in prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both. For a second or subsequent identity fraud conviction, the penalty increases to three to fifteen years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both. A felony conviction can make it difficult to gain employment, obtain housing, receive credit, vote, or own a firearm in Georgia.

Aggravated Identity Fraud in Georgia

Georgia law defines aggravated identity fraud in Georgia as:

A person commits the offense of aggravated identity fraud when he or she willfully and fraudulently uses any counterfeit or fictitious identifying information concerning a real, fictitious, or deceased person with intent to use such counterfeit or fictitious identifying information for the purpose of obtaining employment. O.C.G.A. §16-9-121.1.

Aggravated identity fraud is classified as a felony in Georgia. If convicted, the punishment can range from one to fifteen years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both. 

Practice Note

If you or loved one has been charged with any of the many fraud crimes in Georgia, contact us today. The reality is that no one should be assumed guilty just because they have been accused of a crime. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Contacting a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney is your best defense because we are experienced and will investigate your case. We will guide you through the process every step of the way.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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