REPORT TITLE:
Identity Theft


DESCRIPTION:
Criminalizes identity theft and provides for a civil action for
identity theft.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        2736
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO IDENTITY THEFT.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The United States Public Interest Research Group
 
 2 estimated in 1995 that banks lost an estimated $90 million due to
 
 3 identity theft.  That number continues to grow.  The "big three"
 
 4 consumer credit reporting agencies report that they receive
 
 5 hundreds of calls every day from identity fraud victims.  Some
 
 6 courts view the banks and other entities that issue credit to an
 
 7 identity theft as the only victims in these cases.
 
 8 Unfortunately, consumers who have been left with damaged
 
 9 reputations, bad credit reports, and the resource-consuming task
 
10 of trying to correct the false credit record information, are
 
11 also victims.
 
12      In 1998, a federal law was enacted that made it a crime to
 
13 knowingly transfer or use, without lawful authority,
 
14 identification of another with the intent to commit, or aid or
 
15 abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of
 
16 federal law or that constitutes a felony under applicable state
 
17 law.  However, theft of identity under this law must involve the
 
18 obtaining of anything of value aggregating $1,000 or more during
 
19 a one-year period and involve a document made or issued by a
 

 
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 1 governmental entity.  This does not cover identification issued
 
 2 by a lender, such as a credit card.
 
 3      This Act would remove two main obstacles to prosecuting
 
 4 identity theft in Hawaii.  Under current law, the credit card
 
 5 company, not the individual, is legally considered to be the
 
 6 victim.  Second, the law is not clear on whether theft of
 
 7 "identity" is considered a crime.  This Act would declare that
 
 8 consumers are victims of identity theft when their credit reports
 
 9 are damaged and would entitle them to compensation for the
 
10 consequences of "adverse actions", a term derived from the
 
11 federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.  By adding a new part to the
 
12 penal code to provide misdemeanor and felony penalties for
 
13 identity theft, Hawaii would aid law enforcement in combating one
 
14 of the fastest growing financial crimes.
 
15      In just the past year, many other states enacted legislation
 
16 regarding theft of identity, including Wisconsin, Georgia,
 
17 Kansas, Colorado, Mississippi, and West Virginia.  By adding a
 
18 new part to the penal code to provide misdemeanor and felony
 
19 crimes for identity theft, Hawaii would join those other
 
20 jurisdictions in aiding law enforcement to combat one of the
 
21 fastest growing financial crimes.
 
22      SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding
 
23 a new chapter to title 36 to be appropriately designated and to
 

 
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 1 read as follows:
 
 2                             "CHAPTER
 
 3                          IDENTITY THEFT
 
 4         -1  Identity theft, conduct prohibited.(a)  No person
 
 5 shall knowingly and with the intent to defraud:
 
 6      (1)  Obtain;
 
 7      (2)  Possess;
 
 8      (3)  Transfer; or
 
 9      (4)  Use;
 
10 credit, goods, services, or anything else of value in the name of
 
11 another person without that person's consent.
 
12      (b)  No person shall attempt to do any of the prohibited
 
13 acts in subsection (a).
 
14         -2  Penalty.  The penalty for a violation of section
 
15    -1 shall be actual damages sustained by the person whose
 
16 identity was stolen, a civil penalty of $1,000, punitive damages
 
17 as the court may allow, and all costs of the action with
 
18 reasonable attorney's fees as set by the court.
 
19         -3  Enforcement.  The attorney general shall enforce
 
20 this chapter.  Upon application of any aggrieved individual, the
 
21 attorney general shall seek an immediate injunction in circuit
 
22 court and shall sue for monetary relief.  The injured person
 
23 shall receive the actual and punitive damages under section
 

 
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 1    -2, and the attorney general shall receive the civil penalty
 
 2 and the costs of the action."
 
 3      SECTION 3.  Chapter 708, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 4 by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read
 
 5 as follows:
 
 6                     "PART   .  IDENTITY THEFT
 
 7      708-A  Identity thefts, definitions.  As used in this part:
 
 8      "Personal identification information" means an individual's
 
 9 name, address, telephone number, electronic mail address,
 
10 driver's license number, social security number, employment or
 
11 place of employment, employee identification number, mother's
 
12 maiden name, identifying number of a depository account, and any
 
13 other name, number or code that is used, along or in conjunction
 
14 with other such information, to confirm the identity of a
 
15 specific person.
 
16      708-B  Identity theft in the first degree.(1)  A person
 
17 is guilty of identity theft in the first degree when the person:
 
18      (a)  With intent to defraud, assumes the identity of ten or
 
19           more other persons or uses personal identifying
 
20           information of ten or more other persons, without the
 
21           authorization or consent of the persons, and thereby
 
22           intentionally obtains credit, goods, money, services,
 
23           or anything of value to which those other persons, and
 

 
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 1           not the defendant, are entitled with an aggregate value
 
 2           exceeding $2,000; or
 
 3      (b)  Commits the offense of identity theft in the second
 
 4           degree after previously being convicted of identity
 
 5           theft in the second degree.
 
 6      (2)  Theft of identity in the first degree is a class B
 
 7 felony.
 
 8      708-C  Identity theft in the second degree.(1)  A person
 
 9 is guilty of theft of identity in the second degree when the
 
10 person:
 
11      (a)  With intent to defraud, assumes the identity of three
 
12           or more other persons or uses personal identification
 
13           information of three or more other persons, without the
 
14           authorization or consent of the persons, and thereby
 
15           intentionally obtains credit, goods, money, services,
 
16           or anything of value to which the other persons, and
 
17           not the defendant, are entitled, with an aggregate
 
18           value exceeding $500; and
 
19      (b)  Commits the offense of theft of identity in the third
 
20           degree after having been previously convicted of
 
21           identity theft in the third degree.
 
22      (2)  Theft of identity in the second degree is a class C
 
23 felony.
 

 
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 1      708-D  Identity theft in the third degree.(1)  A person
 
 2 is guilty of theft of identity in the third degree when, with
 
 3 intent to defraud, the person assumes the identity of another
 
 4 person or uses personal identification information of another
 
 5 person, without the authorization or consent of such person, and
 
 6 thereby intentionally obtains credit, goods, money, services, or
 
 7 anything of value to which the other person, and not the actor,
 
 8 is entitled.
 
 9      (2)  Theft of identity in the third degree is a
 
10 misdemeanor."
 
11      SECTION 4.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 
12 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
 
13 begun, before its effective date.
 
14      SECTION 5.  In codifying the new sections added by section 3
 
15 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate
 
16 section numbers for the numbers and letters used in the new
 
17 sections designated in this Act.
 
18      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
19 
 
20                       INTRODUCED BY:  ___________________________