(Albany, NY) – Last week, the Senate passed Legislation introduced by Senator Krueger, which will help crack down on illegal activity linked to identity theft. Under the new law, if a crime is committed in connection with identity theft, the courts will have the jurisdiction to hear the crimes together.  The bill passed the Senate with overwhelming support and is now being sent to the Assembly where it is sponsored by Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Codes Committee.

A likely example in which this law would be applied is if someone were to break into a house, steals a credit card from within the house and then goes on a shopping spree throughout the State.  Currently, if these separate infractions are within different jurisdictions then they would require different trials in separate courts, however this Legislation consolidates the process and allows the charges to be heard in one court.  Other examples of charges that would be interrelated to identity theft are larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal solicitation and schemes to defraud and forgery.

“This is a perfect example of logical Legislation. It will allow for the prosecution of several related cases based on one set of facts which will promote efficiency, without sacrificing fairness to the defendant,” Senator Krueger said.

The new system will allow for multiple convictions before the same court, which will allow courts to be fully aware of all related infractions when determining sentencing.  This coordination will also better serve the economy of resources for the parties and courts involved.

As of 2007, New York ranked ninth in the nation in identity thefts, according to the Bureau of Justice, with over 16,000 people falling victim to the crime.

“Identity theft has become a tremendous problem, not only here in New York but all around the world. It’s not just a matter of theft.  It’s also a crime that emotionally violates someone’s sense of control over their own life.  By streamlining the prosecution of those individuals who steal the identity and security of others, I hope we will move one step closer toward ending the spread of this despicable crime.”

Contact: Katie Kincaid | kincaid.nysenate@gmail.com | 646-784-0485