Date: March 26, 2003
Senate Passes S. 153, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act
On March 19, 2003 by unanimous consent, the Senate passed S. 153, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act. This bill would amend Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code to establish penalties for aggravated identity theft. The bill includes the following provisions that would:
- Add section 1028A, "Aggravated Identity Theft", to Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code.
- Prescribe sentences of two years' imprisonment for knowingly transferring, possessing, or using, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person during and in relation to specified felony violations (including felonies relating to theft from employee benefit plans and various fraud and immigration offenses), and five years' imprisonment for knowingly taking such action during and in relation to specified felony violations pertaining to terrorist acts, in addition to the punishments provided for such felonies.
- Prohibit a court from:
- placing any person convicted of such a violation on probation;
- reducing any sentence for the related felony to take into account the sentence imposed for such a violation; or
- providing for concurrent terms of imprisonment for a violation of this Act and any other violation, except, in the court's discretion, an additional violation of this section.
- Expand the existing identify theft prohibition to:
- cover possession of a means of identification of another with intent to commit specified unlawful activity;
- increase penalties for violations; and (3) include acts of domestic terrorism within the scope of a prohibition against facilitating an act of international terrorism.