Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Undocumented Immigrants Linking to Identity Theft: A myth or a lie?
Over the course of a year, defendants Anderton and Kirsch used the identities of more than 16 victims in numerous illegal transactions to obtain more than $119,000 in cash and merchandise. They also made failed attempts to obtain more than $122,000 in additional cash and merchandise. I want to pointed out were we do not want to believe that the genuine identities of possibly hundreds of thousands of US citizens are being stolen or hijacked by Citizens and criminal organizations and not by Undocumented Immigrants which we tended to blame because they do not have a Political voice either legal representation.
The government has used the charges against Undocumented Workers with the possibility of prison time to persuade people to plead guilty to lesser immigration violations. In other cases, defendants have been convicted of "aggravated identity theft," even without proof that they knew their phony ID numbers belonged to real people. The central question is whether the defendant must know that the counterfeit identification belongs to someone else. Federal prosecutors have increasingly been bringing the more serious identity theft charges against undocumented immigrants.
Defense lawyers have argued that their clients should not be charged with stealing an identity because the immigrants were seeking documentation only to allow them to work. They didn't know if the numbers were fictitious or belonged to someone else.
When a person makes up a Social Security number, having no idea whether it belongs to someone else, it is hard to see how that conduct qualifies as 'theft' - much less 'aggravated theft. So what about the person who knows and have an idea who's that number belongs to?
Jocelyn Kirsch, 23, of Novato, California, was sentenced today to five years in prison for her role in an extensive identity theft and fraud scheme, announced Acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid. Kirsch pleaded guilty in July 2008, to conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. Between November 2006 and November 30, 2007, Kirsch and co-defendant Edward Anderton stole identity information, credit cards, and credit card account information from numerous victims, including friends, co-workers, neighbors, fellow students, bar patrons, and others, and used those stolen materials extensively to buy merchandise and obtain cash. Anderton pleaded guilty in June 2008 and is scheduled for sentencing on November 14, 2008. In addition to the prison terms, United States District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno ordered Kirsch to pay $101,033 restitution, a $600 special assessment, and to complete five years of supervised release.
Over the course of a year, defendants Anderton and Kirsch used the identities of more than 16 victims in numerous illegal transactions to obtain more than $119,000 in cash and merchandise. They also made failed attempts to obtain more than $122,000 in additional cash and merchandise. The defendants used the proceeds of their fraud scheme to help fund their lavish lifestyle that included trips to Florida, Paris, Hawaii, Montreal, and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Philadelphia Police Department, The University of Pennsylvania Police Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen and Special Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Caulfield