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Merger of Theft of Identity and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card

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by: Ryan • December 20, 2011 • no comments

If you have a client who, having used a credit card in someone else's name, is now charged with both ID Theft and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (FUCC), do those counts merge?

While the excellent opinion State v. Earls addresses two different crimes (theft and negotiating a bad check), does it - or State v. Blake - support the argument that ID Theft and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card should merge?

One question of course is whether you can ever commit FUCC without committing ID Theft. The state's response would be that you could commit FUCC with a phony credit card that is nonetheless in your name. But wouldn't it still have to involve the personal identification (i.e., a fake card number) that would belong to someone else? In this day and age, in which the validity of the card will be confirmed immediately, can you ever successfully commit FUCC with a credit card that doesn't use the personal ID of another person?

Too busy today to think about this in depth, but I thought I'd throw it out there.