Local lawmakers introduce identity theft penalty bill

  • <br>Enterprise staff
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:39am

OLYMPIA — The two representatives from the 1st Legislative District have introduced a bill adding identity theft to the list of crimes against persons.

Reps. Mark Ericks, D-Bothell, and Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, co-sponsored HB 1966, which would also add restrictions against those convicted of identity theft. Under the bill, offenders cannot have their conviction records cleared, may be subject to community placements or community custody, and would have greater difficulty qualifying for early prison release for good conduct.

“This issue has raised national attention and it’s time to clamp down on criminals who ruin our credit, steal our hard earned money, and defame our names,” Ericks said.

Testimony from identity theft victims was given in a public hearing held in the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee. No one testified against the bill, according to a news release.

“Adding this crime to the category of ‘crimes against persons’ will impose harsher penalties for those convicted,” said O’Brien. “Permanent record of their conviction, community service obligations, and longer imprisonment will make violators think twice before breaking this law.”

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