Police in the United States and Romania yesterday charged thirty-eight members of a global crime ring for stealing the names, Social Security numbers, credit card information and personal details of internet users in a phishing scam
f convicted, each of the individuals in Connecticut faces a maximum term of five years in prison on each conspiracy charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison on the aggravated identify theft charge. As if that weren’t enough ...
As if that weren't enough???
Please tell me you are not sympathetic here (assuming they are guilty). I'd need more details on the case, but it is very likely that each of the 5 year maximum conspiracy charges will be carried out in parallel. A maximum of 7 years in prison seems light to me.
Consider: with this information, these people routinely destroy people's credit, bankrupt them, and hang them out to dry. Under the old laws, if you declared bankruptcy, you couldn't get a credit card for 10 years. On top of that, many of the people who fall for these scams don't make much more than their cost of living. I'd wager it would take many people more than 7 years to get back to where they were before the scam. Also, given that these people are members of a "Global Crime Ring", there is a good chance that the maximum term charges will quickly turn into their respective minimums (Depending on how valuable the members are).
>= $250,000 per offense may be a little steep, but I certainly don't think that the proposed sentences is too much without fines. If the penalties go through as laid out, it'll certainly send a message to other scammers.
Likely, the fines are purposely inflated so that Lawyers will get their 60%, the government will get its cut, and there will be enough left that the victims actually get something meaningful back. They could also be inflated with the anticipation of the penalties getting argued down.
If it were up to me, I'd drop the prisons terms for the conspiracy charges, keep the prison term for the identity theft charges, and keep the fines. This would keep them out of the loop long enough that their methods get somewhat outdated, but then get them back into the work force to pay their fines. After all, they can't pay the fines if they are in prison. They should, however, be monitored to make sure that they don't go back to scamming to pay the fines (or to catch their associates if they do).