Our society has become a web of tangled financial transactions and personal information. As technology and the web become an increasing part of our everyday lives, it may become more difficult to keep personal information secret. When an individual discovers that his or her identity has been stolen, authorities will often quickly turn to those who had access to the information, which can leave accused individual facing serious criminal charges.
A former IRS employee from Fresno, California was recently indicted, along with three of her friends, for allegedly stealing more than $1 million from 160 individuals, including IRS employees. Authorities claim the former IRS worker had access to her co-workers’ personal information during her two years at the department, which she allegedly stole and used to obtain credit cards, which were then used to buy gift cards. The accused individuals allegedly bought jewelry, home goods, and clothing. All four individuals now face charges of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy. If convicted, all four could spend 30 years in prison and face a quarter of a million dollars in fines.
Identity theft can manifest in several different ways. However, all allegations related to identity theft, fraud and other white collar crimes should be aggressively defended against. Failing to do so could result in decades behind bars, hefty fines, and a severely damaged reputation that can negatively affect an individual’s life for years. Thus, it is critical that those facing such charges take immediate action and start crafting their criminal defense.
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be pivotal in these types of cases. An attorney’s knowledge of the law and the federal justice system together with his or her ability to analyze evidence and witness testimony may play to a defendant’s favor. Therefore, when an individual is facing serious allegations related to a federal investigation, it may be in his or her best interest to speak with an attorney who will aggressively fight for a defendant’s freedom, rights and reputation.
Source: The Daily Journal, “IRS worker in California charged with identity theft of co-workers; 160 victims alleged,” July 22, 2014