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Alleged impersonation of U.S. citizenship results in charges

When one of our Roseville readers thinks about the criminal charge of identity theft, they most likely envision a person who steals another's credit cards and driver's license in order to make purchases over the Internet. While this type of impersonation is indeed one method of committing this crime, there are other ways a person could be arrested on this type of charge. One Sacramento man found this out the hard way recently, when he was charged with a variety of identity theft-related crimes.

According to the reports, the 69-year-old suspect will not only face an identity theft charge, but also charges of making false statements on government documents and theft of government property. The man is alleged to have applied for both an American passport as well as Social Security benefits, all under an assumed name and while falsely claiming United States citizenship.

He reportedly received $33,711 in Social Security benefits over a three and a half year period. He applied for a passport in October of last year, after he had allegedly been receiving the Social Security funds for about three years.

Along with identity theft, embezzlement, forgery and fraud are all considered to be "white collar" crimes. However, if the perception is that these types of offenses are less serious than, say, something like auto theft or robbery, that perception is wrong. And, due to the fact that oftentimes detailed records and financial documents are involved, devising a criminal defense strategy for one of these charges can actually be even harder to accomplish. For this 69-year-old man, the charges are serious and only time will tell if he is able to come up with the right strategy in his case.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento man indicted for fraud, identity theft," Cathy Locke, May 30, 2013

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