The laws regarding identity theft vary greatly, depending on which state a person is in. Alabama has some strict laws for people who attempt to steal identities and use the information of others to their advantage. It is considered a felony. The type of identity theft done will earn a different felony class rating in the state of Alabama.
- 1 Alabama Laws
- 2 Famous Cases
- 3 Family Identity Theft Scheme
- 4 Resources
Identity Theft - §13A-8-192
Without consent or permission, one is not allowed to use another’s identity. Illegally obtaining records, accessing information, gaining employment, or purchasing goods and services with another person’s name is considered a Class B felony. Prosecution of this offense in Alabama must be done within seven years of the date of crime.
Trafficking in Stolen Identities - Ala Code §13A-8-193
It is considered a Class B felony if five separate documents for the same person are found. The same applies for documents belonging to five different people. Both options are considered trafficking in stolen identities. This crime could earn the perpetrator anywhere between two and twenty years in prison. Up to $30,000 in fines may also have to be paid. Making, selling, purchasing, transferring, and even possessing these documents are punishable offenses.
Obstructing Justice Using a False Identity - Ala Code §13A-8-194
Using a false identity to obstruct justice in any way is considered a Class C felony. Avoiding arrest, not appearing to a summons to court, avoiding prosecution, and interfering with a criminal investigation using another person’s identity are all offenses included in this section.
Restitution - Ala Code §13A-8-195
A party guilty of identity theft must make restitution by paying any financial losses to the person whose identity was stolen. This may include expenses due to repairing credit. Attorney fees and lost wages may also be included in the loss amount. $25 per day must also be paid during any time spent in jail.
A couple of identity theft cases have already come from Alabama. One such case involved a former IRS employee, and another impacted soldiers fighting in places like Afghanistan.
Former IRS Employee Involved With Identity Theft
Nakeisha Hall, a previous employee for the IRS, was responsible for assisting residents of Alabama when they fell victim to identity theft. What many did not expect was to have their identities stolen from Hall herself, who was supposed to be helping them. Hall worked with three others to complete a tax-fraud scheme that earned them a total nearing $1.5 million.
Aggravated identity theft was one charge Hall plead guilty to. The others consisted of conspiracy to commit fraud, theft of government funds, and unauthorized access to a computer. The culprits stole identities from the IRS database and created tax returns for each one. The scheme ran for three years, between the years of 2008 and 2011.
Jimmie Goodman, Abdulla Coleman, and Lashon Roberson also participated in the scheme. They were each charged with mail fraud and conspiracy.
Family Identity Theft Scheme
Conspiracy and aggravated identity theft were the charges given to three family members who were involved in an identity theft scheme in Alabama. Mary Young, Christian Young, and Mary’s son, Octavious Reeves, were all involved. Mary served the most time, at 87 months. The Youngs had to pay restitution at more than $400,000 each, while Reeves paid over $40,000.
The scheme ran for two years, from 2010 until 2012. The family of thieves stole identities and used them to file tax returns. They used pre-paid debit cards to receive the money sent to various addresses in Elmore, Alabama.
Soldiers’ Identities Stolen By 9 Women in Alabama and Georgia
More than $20 million was stolen between 9 women in an identity theft scheme in Alabama and Georgia. Many of the victims were soldiers located at Fort Benning. Upwards of 7000 tax returns were filed falsely by these women between the years of 2011 and 2013.
Mequetta Snell-Quick, Talarious Paige, Cynthia and Sharonda Johnson, and Tracy, Dameisha, and Latasha Mitchell were all operating from the Phenix City, Alabama area. Keisha Lanier was from Seale, Alabama. The Georgia culprit was Patrice Taylor. Tracy Mitchell worked at Fort Benning in the hospital. She used her position to steal information from numerous soldiers who were deployed to places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Each charge earned the women different maximum sentence amounts, ranging from 10 to 20 years. The charges held against them included mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Each charge of aggravated identity theft is two years in the state of Alabama.
A number of valuable resources are available for those who have fallen victim to identity theft.
Ago.alabama.gov: The office of the attorney general can help guide victims to answers. A victim notification form is available online, along with a victim’s rights brochure. Those that need assistance can also file a consumer complaint.
Identitytheftnetwork.org: Victims of theft can seek assistance from the Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network. The site describes various Alabama identity theft laws and lists other important resources that can help.
Ncsl.org: The National Conference of State Legislature provides details regarding the legislation set forth in each state. Alabama’s laws are listed on the site so people can understand what type of penalties are awarded for each type.
Legalservicesalabama.org: Those who have fallen vicitim to identity theft can receive legal services from Legal Services Alabama. The site offers an option to apply for services online.
Alabamalegalhelp.org: In order to receive legal help when one’s identity has been stolen, victims should seek guidance from the Alabama Legal Help website. It discusses options for free and low-cost aid. Basic information regarding legal rights is also available on the site.
Annualcreditreport.com: Many people remain unaware that their identitites have been stolen until it is too late. Anyone can visit the Annual Credit Report website to receive a free copy of their credit report. This report details any activity and allows consumers to see if their names have been used for suspicious loans or credit card accounts.