Tougher ID Theft Penalties Headed to Okla. House Floor

March 7, 2007

Legislation that would crack down on identity thieves is headed to the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1622, by state Rep. David Derby, increases the penalty for identity theft by up to 10-times the current penalty. Under the bill, people who commit identity theft and steal more than $500 would face a fine of up to $5,000 and 10 years in prison. The current penalty is just a $1,000 fine and one year in prison.

“Identify theft is a growing crime that affects more and more people every day, particularly the elderly,” said Derby, R-Owasso. “Unfortunately, our law does not address the use of new technology to steal another person’s identity. House Bill 1622 both updates the law and increases the penalties for identity theft to make sure criminals have reason to think twice before committing this crime.”

If House Bill 1622 becomes law, it will establish a penalty for possession of paraphernalia that could be used to commit identity theft, making that crime a misdemeanor. Anyone with control of at least 10 elements used in the manufacture of a counterfeit identification card or driver license – including computers, printers, laminator machine, copier, blank lamination sheets or holders, seals, logos, non-negotiated counterfeit checks – would be presumed to have intent to sell or distribute another person’s identity.

The bill also explicitly outlaws the theft of documents with another person’s name and social security number for the purposes of identity theft.

House Bill 1622 passed out of the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and now proceeds to the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

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