Diane Feinstein and John Ashcroft Identity Theft Press Conference

San Francisco Chronicle – May 3, 2002

Arrests call attention to government efforts against identity theft

The U.S. government seems to be finally paying attention to identity theft. John Ashcroft, U.S. Attorney General and Senator Diane Feinstein of California held a press conference pushing for Congress to pass legislation that would increase the punishment for identity theft offenders. The pending legislation would increase prison time for convicted offenders and make it a crime to be in possession of someone else’s ID info with the intent to commit a felony.

How are thieves punished today? The median time served in prison for people convicted of identity theft in 2001 was:

  • 13 months for cases investigated by the Secret Service
  • 7 months for cases handled by the FBI.
  • About a third of those convicted were not sent to prison.

Author: Richard Patterson

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