State lawmaker seeks stronger punishment for identity theft

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 6:14 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A state lawmaker says people who commit identity theft should face stronger penalties.

Representative Steve Martin of Bartlesville wants to increase the maximum penalty to seven years. The maximum is currently two years. Existing law also provides for fines up to $100,000.

Martin says there were 2,000 cases of identity theft reported in Oklahoma in 2004. Oklahoma ranks 29th in identity-theft rates per 100,000 population.

The Federal Trade Commission says those who commit identity theft mostly target victims age 18 to 29 through credit card fraud.

Martin says perpetrators of identity theft subject their victims to financial damage and incredible inconvenience. He says the sentence should match the seriousness of the crime.