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State v. Mullen

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-28-2011
Case #: A139246
Sercombe, for the Court; Brewer, C.J. & Carson, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A139246.pdf

Criminal Law: A person whose identity is misappropriated is a victim for purposes of identity theft under ORS 161.067(2).

Defendant was arrested after attempting to purchase restaurant gift cards with bad checks and was subsequently convicted on multiple counts of identity theft and other related crimes. Defendant appealed, claiming that the trial court should have merged three of his identity theft convictions. Defendant reasoned that under ORS 161.067(2), ‘victim’ meant the party defrauded through the use of false identity, not the person whose identity was misappropriated. Therefore, there was only one victim as a result of the defendant’s use of three different identities to defraud one party. The Court rejected his arguments, finding that the legislature intended to protect the person whose identity was taken because the statute did not require a completed act of deception or fraud, merely the intent to deceive or defraud. Additionally, legislative history led the Court to conclude that the statutory intent was to protect those who have their identities misappropriated from the economic and reputational harm that may come from having one’s identity stolen. Affirmed.