There are numerous cases of identity theft every year, and some are more devastating than others. While most infiltrators attempt to harm others by taking money or stealing their identity, others are more focused on accomplishing personal goals. The story of Jerry Allen Whittredge is one of those exceptions.
The man convinced the employees at the Space Center to give him an exclusive tour by claiming to be a member of the next shuttle mission as well as a CIA agent with a Congressional Medal of Honor. Whittredge, who was actually a commercial airline pilot, was given classified information about the shuttle's propulsion system and was given access to Mission Control at the time of the shuttle mission.
He went on to convince the Navy to give him training on a T-45 flight simulator and maintained the facade for an eight month period. When he was found out, he claimed that Bill Clinton was his lawyer. This did not accomplish much for him, and he was charged with $250,000 and a five-year jail sentence for deceiving the United States government by impersonating a federal employee. It is remarkable that this man, who was a complete stranger, was able to dupe some of the most significant and trusted forces in the United States government into letting him view classified information.
The crime of identity theft includes a broad range of offenses, ranging from stealing a credit card number to duping the government. This criminal offense can be tried as a felony federal crime and is viewed as one of the fastest growing crimes in America. According to the State of California Department of Justice, more than one million of the 8.1 million victims of identity theft are from California. Identity theft charges can result in felony penalties under the law and California authorities are always on the lookout for suspects. Call Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today to learn more about identity theft charges and how to defend your rights!