Identity theft is a growing problem for authorities in California and around the country, and protecting the community is especially difficult because technology designed to make life easier is providing criminals with new ways to obtain confidential consumer information. Identity thieves use people's personal or financial data, such as their Social Security number or login details, without their knowledge or consent to commit crimes like fraud or theft. One of the chief problems faced by police officers and federal agents investigating identity theft is that victims often do not find out that their information has been used without their consent until they receive credit card bills with unusual charges.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter appeared with his wife in federal court in San Diego for a hearing after a 60-count indictment detailed their alleged misuse of over $250,000 in political campaign funds. Hunter's lawyer requested another status conference because he needed more time to prepare motions prior to a trial. He wanted the judge to excuse the congressman from that hearing, but the judge refused the request.
A representative from California has been indicted on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. He was also indicted on charges that he falsified records and violated campaign finance laws. According to the indictment, campaign funds were used to cover personal expenses such as dental bills that were past due as well as vacations and school lunches. Furthermore, it said that the representative and his wife engaged in a conspiracy to siphon campaign funds for their own personal use.
After being arrested out of state, a 70-year-old man formerly of Hillsborough has been scheduled to appear in San Francisco federal court to answer for charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors claim that he launched a real estate Ponzi scheme in 2010 and used the money collected from investors to pay for personal expenses, buy stocks and sometimes pay investors.
On July 17, it was reported that a 49-year-old California man pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud. He had been accused of using investor money for personal expenses instead of purchasing and reselling tickets for profit.
A 69-year-old man residing in Roseville received a guilty verdict from a jury after a weeklong trial in federal court in San Francisco. He had been accused of misleading Japanese investors in a classic Ponzi scheme that paid early investors with cash supplied by new investors. Damages to investors totaled $6.8 million. The jury convicted him of conspiracy to launder money, money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 17 counts of wire fraud. He now awaits his sentence.
The CEO of the infamous website Backpage.com has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering in a California court, according to documents filed in the case. The CEO will face up to five years in prison for his crimes.
In 2017, the California legislature voted to make changes to Megan's Law, which requires that sex offenders register with the state. The primary change was to reduce the amount of time a person must spend on the state sex offender list. The new law will place those on the sex offender list into three categories. Tier I will be used for those who have committed nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors.
On Jan. 8, it was reported that three California-based insurance agents were sentenced to prison after they were convicted on charges associated with a fraudulent life insurance scheme. All three of the insurance agents were convicted on wire fraud and identity theft charges in early 2017.
Through laws and legislation, states aim to protect members of the public from individuals who commit sex offenses. California residents should be aware of what qualifies as a sex offense.