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Old 05-05-2009, 06:19 PM
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,824 posts, read 23,117,626 times
Reputation: 6541


Originally Posted by Miborn View Post
Supreme Court rules for immigrant in ID theft case

Ordinarily, a case of an illegal immigrant working under fake documents would not wind up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the case of Ignacio Flores-Figueroa is a bit more complicated.

There's no doubt that Flores-Figueroa, a Mexican illegal immigrant, got a job at an Illinois steel plant by using false identification.

When Flores-Figueroa got hired at the plant in 2000, he was working under an assumed name and a bogus Social Security number.

In 2006, he gave his employer his real name and a new Social Security number. But that number actually belonged to a real person. So Flores-Figueroa got detained by immigration agents.

He pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. illegally and misuse of immigration documents.

He and his lawyers argued that he could not have stolen someone's identity under the letter of the law. Federal statute says that in identity theft cases someone must "knowingly" use identification belonging to another person.

Flores-Figueroa says he didn't know whose identity he was using.

The Supreme Court today agreed with him, saying that someone convicted of identity theft must know that the identification documents belonged to another individual.

The decision makes perfect sense. That doesn't mean that Flores-Figueroa did not violate the law, it just means that he did not violate the law prohibiting identity theft. Providing intentionally false information, which Flores-Figueroa did, is still fraud. It just isn't identity theft unless you knowingly take someone's identity.
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