It has been pointed out to me that I am wrong. Identity theft IS a crime according to the New York Penal Code. I have maintained, as a victim of identity theft, the law should have been upheld. In my case, it was not. If the law is not upheld, there might as well be no law.
I was robbed twice. The first thief wiped out my savings, and two financial institutions provided proof of that. But the case went on for years, going through three different district attorney’s, and two jurisdictions. By the time the case got to district attorney number three, it was so overwhelming that the district attorney could not make sense of what happened. Since it never went to a grand jury, the thief got away with it.
The second case was handled by a different investigator. He gathered information and questioned the thief who confessed. The investigator brought the information to a different DA in the same office where my first case was handled. Because it was so clear, the thief faced felony charges, and I received restitution.
The victim of any crime has no say in the matter. The final decision is up to the district attorney making it subjective to the district attorney’s whim. That’s unfair to the victim. My hope in telling you this story is to find other victims in similiar situations so that we can come together and find a solution.
It’s really difficult if you have not been in the same circumstance to understand the victim’s position. We don’t want to cry and moan all the time, but it’s frustrating dealing with a blasé system that only cares for the criminal’s rehabilitation in addition to freeing up jail space because it costs too much money to incarcerate. The victim is left bankrupt, and in some cases homeless. The problem is exacerberated because now the victim, having lost everything, is forced to apply for help from social services.
Look at what happpened to the unfortunate employees of the federal government who were working without a paycheck and were forced to apply for government assistance. No one wants to be held hostage by a system that has little regard for its citizens.
My goal is to bring others together in order to share stories and lend support to each other. I know I’m not alone, but sometimes it sure does feel like it. I want to plug the hole in the system before it becomes a flood. Our democratic system is at its best when people notice a problem, gather together to raise awareness and affect positive change.
Maybe the Penal Code should add this disclaimer: Identity theft is a felony only if the district attorney says so.
I welcome your opinion.