Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act Of 2004

Created by Laura Biber on April 03, 2016 1237

The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act of 2004 (18 U.S.C. § 1028A) established the offense of aggravated identity theft. 
This statute prohibits the use of another person's identifying information in cases related to certain federal offenses (listed in  § 1028A(c)) or in cases involving terrorism. A person is guilty of aggravated identity theft when they commit one of the crimes listed in § 1028A(c) or terrorism AND knowingly transfer, possess, or use another person's identification.

Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory minimum two-year sentence that must be served consecutively (not concurrently) with any other sentence. In cases where the underlying offense is terrorism, the mandatory minimum sentence is five years. This consecutive sentence is important to note in aggravated identity theft cases because there is always another underlying offense for which a violator would be sentenced. The Justice Department prosecutes more cases under §1028A than they do for the general identity theft law §1028 because of these stricter sentences. 

Written by Laura Biber on April 24, 2016 0 1813
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Supporting Authority

U.S. v. Wilson, 788 F.3d 1298 (11th Cir. 2015)
Link to Supporting Resource

The court held that the use of a person's name and forged signature "sufficiently identifies a specific individual" to qualify as a "means of identification" under the aggravated identity theft statute. 


Created by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 1911

Flores-Figueroa v. U.S., 556 U.S. 646 (2009)
Link to Supporting Resource

To prove that someone "knowingly" used the identification of another person, the government must prove that the defendant knew that the means of identification they used belonged to another person, as opposed to just being a counterfeit. It is not enough for the government to show that the defendant was using the identification without authority, unless the government can also show that they knew this identification belonged to another person.


Created by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 1930

STATUTES, RULES, REGULATIONS (1) SHOW ALL ADD STATUTES

Aggravated Identity Theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A)
Link to Supporting Resource

This statute lays out the elements for the crime of aggravated identity theft. The felonies that, if coupled with knowingly using the identification of another person, can trigger this statute are listed in § 1028(A)(c).

Created by Laura Biber on March 29, 2016 0 1881
Aggravated Identity Theft is Only Punishable under Federal Statute if the Accused Knew That the Identification Information He Employed Actually Belonged to Another Individual: Flores-Figueroa v. United States
Link to Supporting Resource

This article reviews the 2009 Supreme Court decision in Flores-Figueroa v. United States. This case hold that in order for a defendant to receive an additional two-year sentence under the aggravated identity theft statute, the government must prove that the defendant knew that the identification he used actually belonged to another individual.


Created by Laura Biber on April 23, 2016 0 1868

Seventh Circuit Weighs in on Aggravated Identity Theft Sentencing
Link to Supporting Resource

This article review the Seventh Circuit's decision in United States v. Dooley (see case under list of cases). At issue in that case was whether the 2 year mandatory sentences for aggravated identity theft should be served consecutively or concurrently in cases where there are multiple violations of the statue. The court held that the sentencing judge has the discretion to make this decision, but that they also must consider the factors listed in US Sentencing Guideline §5G1.2 Application Note 2(B). Factors to be considered include: (1) the nature and seriousness of the underlying offense; (2) whether the underlying offenses are group able under the Sentencing Guidelines; and (3) whether the purposes set forth in the statue are better accomplished by a consecutive or concurrent sentence. 

Created by Laura Biber on April 24, 2016 0 1855