Wash. AG Proposes Identity Theft Bill

January 25, 2008

A bill requested by Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna to make it easier to prosecute identity theft cases is scheduled for a public hearing today before the House Judiciary Committee.

“Records custodians often must fly long distances just to testify that a record is authentic, which prolongs the ability to prosecute identity theft and other crimes,” McKenna said. “We need new regulations to ensure a speedy legal process, save costs and clarify procedures that out-of-state businesses must follow when providing requested evidence.”

As drafted, HB 2637 would allow records provided by out-of-state businesses to be authenticated by affidavit rather than in person in criminal cases. When properly served with a request for records, the recipient must provide the records within 20 business days and verify the authenticity by providing a signed affidavit, declaration or certification.

HB 2637 is sponsored by Reps. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe; Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace; Mark Ericks, D-Bothell; Charles Ross, R-Yakima; and Dan Roach, R-Sumner. The bill was recommended by LEGIT, Washington’s Law Enforcement Group against Identity Theft. McKenna created LEGIT in 2006 to suggest ways to better ensure successful identity theft prosecutions and reduce the number of crimes that occur in Washington. The policy-advising group is headed by a King County deputy prosecutor and includes representatives from local police and sheriff’s departments, state government and the private sector.

Source: Office of the Attorney General of Washington

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