2010 Maryland Code
CRIMINAL LAW
TITLE 8 - FRAUD AND RELATED CRIMES
Subtitle 3 - Identity Fraud
Section 8-301 - Identity fraud.

§ 8-301. Identity fraud.
 

(a)  Definitions.-  

(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated. 

(2) "Payment device number" has the meaning stated in § 8-213 of this title. 

(3) "Personal identifying information" includes a name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, Social Security number, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, bank or other financial institution account number, date of birth, personal identification number, credit card number, or other payment device number. 

(4) "Re-encoder" means an electronic device that places encoded personal identifying information or a payment device number from the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different credit card or any electronic medium that allows such a transaction to occur. 

(5) "Skimming device" means a scanner, skimmer, reader, or any other electronic device that is used to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store, temporarily or permanently, personal identifying information or a payment device number encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card. 

(b)  Prohibited - Obtaining personal identifying information without consent.- A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent possess, obtain, or help another to possess or obtain any personal identifying information of an individual, without the consent of the individual, in order to use, sell, or transfer the information to get a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value in the name of the individual. 

(c)  Prohibited - Assuming identity of another.- A person may not knowingly and willfully assume the identity of another: 

(1) to avoid identification, apprehension, or prosecution for a crime; or 

(2) with fraudulent intent to: 

(i) get a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value; or 

(ii) avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation. 

(d)  Use of re-encoder or skimming device.- A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent to obtain a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value, use: 

(1) a re-encoder to place information encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different credit card or use any other electronic medium that allows such a transaction to occur without the consent of the individual authorized to use the credit card from which the personal identifying information or payment device number is being re-encoded; or 

(2) a skimming device to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store personal identifying information or a payment device number on the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card without the consent of the individual authorized to use the credit card. 

(e)  Possession of re-encoder or skimming device.- A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent possess, obtain, or help another possess or obtain a re-encoder device or a skimming device for the unauthorized use, sale, or transfer of personal identifying information or a payment device number. 

(f)  Representation without authorization prohibited.- A person may not knowingly and willfully claim to represent another person without the knowledge and consent of that person, with the intent to solicit, request, or take any other action to otherwise induce another person to provide personal identifying information or a payment device number. 

(g)  Penalty.-  

(1) A person who violates this section where the benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value that is the subject of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section has a value of $500 or greater is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 15 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both. 

(2) A person who violates this section where the benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value that is the subject of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section has a value of less than $500 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 18 months or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both. 

(3) A person who violates this section under circumstances that reasonably indicate that the person's intent was to manufacture, distribute, or dispense another individual's personal identifying information without that individual's consent is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 15 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both. 

(4) A person who violates subsection (c)(1), (e), or (f) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 18 months or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both. 

(5) When the violation of this section is pursuant to one scheme or continuing course of conduct, whether from the same or several sources, the conduct may be considered as one violation and the value of the benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value may be aggregated in determining whether the violation is a felony or misdemeanor. 

(h)  Statute of limitations and in banc review.- A person described in subsection (g)(2) or (4) of this section is subject to § 5-106(b) of the Courts Article. 

(i)  Restitution and costs.- In addition to restitution under Title 11, Subtitle 6 of the Criminal Procedure Article, a court may order a person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty under this section to make restitution to the victim for reasonable costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred: 

(1) for clearing the victim's credit history or credit rating; and 

(2) in connection with a civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy a debt, lien, judgment, or other obligation of the victim that arose because of the violation. 

(j)  Separate sentence.- A sentence under this section may be imposed separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any crime based on the act or acts establishing the violation of this section. 

(k)  Statewide jurisdiction for officers - State police.- Notwithstanding any other law, the Department of State Police may initiate investigations and enforce this section throughout the State without regard to any limitation otherwise applicable to the Department's activities in a municipal corporation or other political subdivision. 

(l)  Statewide jurisdiction for officers - Other officers.-  

(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a law enforcement officer of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, the Maryland Port Administration Police, the Park Police of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, or a municipal corporation or county may investigate violations of this section throughout the State without any limitation as to jurisdiction and to the same extent as a law enforcement officer of the Department of State Police. 

(2) The authority granted in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be exercised only in accordance with regulations that the Department of State Police adopts. 

(3) The regulations are not subject to Title 10, Subtitle 1 of the State Government Article. 

(4) The authority granted in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be exercised only if an act related to the crime was committed in the investigating law enforcement agency's jurisdiction or if the complaining witness resides in the investigating law enforcement agency's jurisdiction. 

(m)  Required notifications.- If action is taken under the authority granted in subsection (l) of this section, notification of an investigation: 

(1) in a municipal corporation, shall be made to the chief of police or designee of the chief of police; 

(2) in a county that has a county police department, shall be made to the chief of police or designee of the chief of police; 

(3) in a county without a police department, shall be made to the sheriff or designee of the sheriff; 

(4) in Baltimore City, shall be made to the Police Commissioner or the Police Commissioner's designee; 

(5) on property owned, leased, or operated by or under the control of the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Maryland Aviation Administration, or the Maryland Port Administration, shall be made to the respective chief of police or the chief's designee; and 

(6) on property owned, leased, or operated by or under the control of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, to the chief of police of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for the county in which the property is located. 

(n)  Immunities and exemptions for officers.- When acting under the authority granted in subsection (k) or (l) of this section, a law enforcement officer: 

(1) in addition to any other immunities and exemptions to which the officer may be entitled, has the immunities from liability and exemptions accorded to a law enforcement officer of the Department of State Police; but 

(2) remains an employee of the officer's employing agency. 

(o)  Investigation and prosecution.-  

(1) A State's Attorney or the Attorney General may investigate and prosecute a violation of this section or a violation of any crime based on the act establishing a violation of this section. 

(2) If the Attorney General exercises authority under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Attorney General has all the powers and duties of a State's Attorney, including the use of a grand jury in any county or Baltimore City, to investigate and prosecute the violation. 

(p)  Venue.- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the prosecution of a violation of this section or for a violation of any crime based on the act establishing a violation of this section may be commenced in any county in which: 

(1) an element of the crime occurred; or 

(2) the victim resides. 
 

[An. Code 1957, art. 27, § 231; 2002, ch. 26, § 2; ch. 19, § 10; ch. 509, § 1; 2003, ch. 21, § 1; chs. 67, 68; 2004, chs. 25, 109; 2005, ch. 25, § 1; 2006, ch. 352; 2007, ch. 447; 2008, chs. 354, 355; 2010, ch. 72.] 

 

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