Monday, October 20, 2008

Cert Grant: To Be Guilty of Aggravated ID Theft, Must Defendant Know That ID Actually Belonged to a Real Person?

Today the Supreme Court granted cert in Flores-Figueroa v. United States. As SCOTUSblog summarizes the case,
[t]he issue is whether the law enhancing the sentence for identity theft[, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1),] requries proof that an individual knew that the identity card or number he had used belonged to another, actual person — that is, a knowledge requirement. The Circuit Courts have split 3-3 on the issue. The dispute centers on the meaning of the word “knowingly” in the 2004 statute.

You'll definitely want to keep an eye on this one. The Fifth Circuit has not yet weighed in on the question, but the feds are pursuing more and more of these cases so it's bound to come up in your neck of the woods, if it hasn't already.

The cert-stage filings are available at this link. And for additional discussion of the issue, check out this paper by Massachusetts AFPD Martin Richey.

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