Identity theft has not always been a federal crime, and the government did not take steps to make it so until 1998. In the Internet era, where online identity theft is such a large concern, this may come as a surprise to some. What caused the government to take this step?
The catalyst was a notorious case in which a man's identity was stolen and then his financial reputation was destroyed. First, the person who had taken his identity ran up a lot of credit card debt, reaching $100,000. He was also able to buy many expensive items, including guns, motorcycles and even a home, getting a home loan in the other person's name.
When enough debt had been created, the thief then decided that it was time to declare bankruptcy. This ruined the credit score and borrowing power of the person whose name was being used.
To top it all off, the thief got the person's phone number and called the individual repeatedly, bragging about everything that had happened and saying that he wasn't going to stop because there was no law against what was being done. In the end, this proved to be true, and the thief avoided jail time for the theft. For this reason, the federal government had to introduce new laws to address this issue.
As can be seen, a full knowledge of all of the laws that are on the books is crucial when forming a good defense. Make sure that you know how the laws impact you if you are ever accused of a crime in New Hampshire.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, "Identity Theft and Identity Fraud" accessed Mar. 03, 2015