Precedent Setting Case Regarding Identity Theft Heard Before the Supreme Court

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On October 20, 2008, the Supreme Court granted to hear the case of Flores-Figueroa vs. the United States to decide a point of law that might yield profound ramifications for Federal identity theft law. In the original case, the defendant had been accused of stealing identifying documents and using the info to stay illegally in the United States. He was convicted and sentenced to six years and three months by the Circuit Court of Indiana. At issue was whether or not Flores-Figueroa knew that he was using someone else’s social security number and alien registration card. The Supreme Court agreed to review the case to determine whether or not a lack of knowledge that one was committing identity theft might limit the scope of possible punishments. The Circuit Court judges who originally ruled on the case noted that they had had a difficult time precisely construing the word/concept of “knowingly” as it related to Flores-Figueroa’s case.

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