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Wisconsin police officer faces prison sentence for identity theft

The penalties that are associated with a crime often go beyond prison sentences and community service. In many situations, individuals charged and convicted of a crime lose their jobs, support from their family, and their reputation. For one man, an identity theft charge has already resulted in a job suspension.

The man is an officer for the Milwaukee Police Department. But this week he appeared in court and was charged with felony identity theft for using someone else's Social Security number.

According to the article, law enforcement agents were investigating a different instance of identity theft. The suspect they were dealing with informed them that the police officer had also been a part of a plan to use other Social Security numbers to improve credit.

Investigators believe that three men wanted to improve their credit ratings and paid a company a lot of money to do so. The company gave them three Social Security numbers and told them to use the new numbers instead of their own. Two of the men, one of them being the police officer, went out and tried to purchase vehicles with the new numbers.

It's unclear what happened next, but law enforcement got wind of the officer's attempt to buy a car. The Social Security number he had tried to use actually belonged to a boy with no credit history. When contacted, the boy's father requested that the officer be prosecuted.

If the police officer is convicted of the charge, he may spend the next six years in prison. Not only that, but when he is released he probably won't have a job. And having a criminal conviction on one's record makes it even more difficult to find employment.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online, "Milwaukee officer charged in Social Security number fraud case," John Diedrich, 17 March 2011

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