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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

609.527 IDENTITY THEFT.
    Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) As used in this section, the following terms have the
meanings given them in this subdivision.
(b) "Direct victim" means any person or entity described in section 611A.01, paragraph (b),
whose identity has been transferred, used, or possessed in violation of this section.
(c) "False pretense" means any false, fictitious, misleading, or fraudulent information or
pretense or pretext depicting or including or deceptively similar to the name, logo, Web site
address, e-mail address, postal address, telephone number, or any other identifying information of
a for-profit or not-for-profit business or organization or of a government agency, to which the
user has no legitimate claim of right.
(d) "Identity" means any name, number, or data transmission that may be used, alone or in
conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual or entity, including
any of the following:
(1) a name, Social Security number, date of birth, official government-issued driver's license
or identification number, government passport number, or employer or taxpayer identification
number;
(2) unique electronic identification number, address, account number, or routing code; or
(3) telecommunication identification information or access device.
(e) "Indirect victim" means any person or entity described in section 611A.01, paragraph (b),
other than a direct victim.
(f) "Loss" means value obtained, as defined in section 609.52, subdivision 1, clause (3), and
expenses incurred by a direct or indirect victim as a result of a violation of this section.
(g) "Unlawful activity" means:
(1) any felony violation of the laws of this state or any felony violation of a similar law of
another state or the United States; and
(2) any nonfelony violation of the laws of this state involving theft, theft by swindle, forgery,
fraud, or giving false information to a public official, or any nonfelony violation of a similar law
of another state or the United States.
    Subd. 2. Crime. A person who transfers, possesses, or uses an identity that is not the person's
own, with the intent to commit, aid, or abet any unlawful activity is guilty of identity theft and
may be punished as provided in subdivision 3.
    Subd. 3. Penalties. A person who violates subdivision 2 may be sentenced as follows:
(1) if the offense involves a single direct victim and the total, combined loss to the direct
victim and any indirect victims is $250 or less, the person may be sentenced as provided in section
609.52, subdivision 3, clause (5);
(2) if the offense involves a single direct victim and the total, combined loss to the direct
victim and any indirect victims is more than $250 but not more than $500, the person may be
sentenced as provided in section 609.52, subdivision 3, clause (4);
(3) if the offense involves two or three direct victims or the total, combined loss to the direct
and indirect victims is more than $500 but not more than $2,500, the person may be sentenced as
provided in section 609.52, subdivision 3, clause (3);
(4) if the offense involves more than three but not more than seven direct victims, or if the
total combined loss to the direct and indirect victims is more than $2,500, the person may be
sentenced as provided in section 609.52, subdivision 3, clause (2); and
(5) if the offense involves eight or more direct victims; or if the total, combined loss to the
direct and indirect victims is more than $35,000; or if the offense is related to possession or
distribution of pornographic work in violation of section 617.246 or 617.247; the person may be
sentenced as provided in section 609.52, subdivision 3, clause (1).
    Subd. 4. Restitution; items provided to victim. (a) A direct or indirect victim of an identity
theft crime shall be considered a victim for all purposes, including any rights that accrue under
chapter 611A and rights to court-ordered restitution.
(b) The court shall order a person convicted of violating subdivision 2 to pay restitution of
not less than $1,000 to each direct victim of the offense.
(c) Upon the written request of a direct victim or the prosecutor setting forth with specificity
the facts and circumstances of the offense in a proposed order, the court shall provide to the
victim, without cost, a certified copy of the complaint filed in the matter, the judgment of
conviction, and an order setting forth the facts and circumstances of the offense.
    Subd. 5. Reporting. (a) A person who has learned or reasonably suspects that a person is
a direct victim of a crime under subdivision 2 may initiate a law enforcement investigation by
contacting the local law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the person resides,
regardless of where the crime may have occurred. The agency must prepare a police report of the
matter, provide the complainant with a copy of that report, and may begin an investigation of the
facts, or, if the suspected crime was committed in a different jurisdiction, refer the matter to the law
enforcement agency where the suspected crime was committed for an investigation of the facts.
(b) If a law enforcement agency refers a report to the law enforcement agency where the
crime was committed, it need not include the report as a crime committed in its jurisdiction for
purposes of information that the agency is required to provide to the commissioner of public
safety pursuant to section 299C.06.
    Subd. 5a. Crime of electronic use of false pretense to obtain identity. (a) A person who,
with intent to obtain the identity of another, uses a false pretense in an e-mail to another person or
in a Web page, electronic communication, advertisement, or any other communication on the
Internet, is guilty of a crime.
(b) Whoever commits such offense may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five
years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
(c) In a prosecution under this subdivision, it is not a defense that:
(1) the person committing the offense did not obtain the identity of another;
(2) the person committing the offense did not use the identity; or
(3) the offense did not result in financial loss or any other loss to any person.
    Subd. 6. Venue. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in section 627.01, an offense
committed under subdivision 2 or 5a may be prosecuted in:
(1) the county where the offense occurred;
(2) the county of residence or place of business of the direct victim or indirect victim; or
(3) in the case of a violation of subdivision 5a, the county of residence of the person whose
identity was obtained or sought.
    Subd. 7. Aggregation. In any prosecution under subdivision 2, the value of the money or
property or services the defendant receives or the number of direct or indirect victims within any
six-month period may be aggregated and the defendant charged accordingly in applying the
provisions of subdivision 3; provided that when two or more offenses are committed by the same
person in two or more counties, the accused may be prosecuted in any county in which one of the
offenses was committed for all of the offenses aggregated under this subdivision.
History: 1999 c 244 s 2; 2000 c 354 s 3; 2003 c 106 s 1-3; 1Sp2003 c 2 art 8 s 9; 2005
c 136 art 17 s 32-36