Identity theft refers to an act of fraud that involves stealing money or getting some other benefit by pretending to be someone else. According to the Minnesota identity theft statutes, a person who transfers, possesses, or uses an identity that is not the person’s own, with the intent to commit, aid, or abet any unlawful activity is guilty of identity theft. The maximum penalty associated with a particular case of identity theft is directly related to the amount of financial gain realized by the defendant. In addition to fines and penalties, restitution must be made to the victim of the identity theft.
Penalties for Identity Theft in Minnesota
The penalties for identity theft range from a misdemeanor to a 20-year felony. The offense level correlates with the amount of loss incurred, the number of direct victims involved, or the related offense. Loss is defined as the value obtained and the expenses incurred as a result of the crime. Penalties for financial crimes are readily distinguishable by the monetary loss thresholds. For example, if the amount of loss is $250 or less, the maximum penalty is a misdemeanor. If the amount of loss is more than $35,000, the maximum penalty is a 20-year felony. Non-financial crimes that result in zero loss and involve only one victim default to the misdemeanor penalty. If a crime involves more than one victim, the penalty is raised to a felony. All personal property is subject to forfeiture if it was used or intended for use to commit or facilitate the commission of a designated offense. All money and other property, real or personal, which represent proceeds of a designated offense, are subject to forfeiture. The property may be seized immediately without process if certain provisions are met. All right, title, and interest in the property vests in the appropriate agency upon commission of the act giving rise to forfeiture.
You should act promptly if you’ve been arrested or charged with identity theft in Minnesota. The earlier you involve an attorney, the sooner we can gather evidence, interview witnesses and address the other critical issues in your case. Call our law firm now for a free consultation: (218) 736-5456.