TOPEKA – (May 10, 2013) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today praised the Legislature for approving a tough new law to combat identity theft.
“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States,” Schmidt said. “Our law needs to keep up with the problem, and this aggressive new approach approved by the Legislature will strengthen our hand in fighting identity thieves.”
The new law makes identity theft a violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, which allows the Attorney General’s office to receive and investigate complaints about identity theft. It also allows the Attorney General to seek injunctions and impose fines on identity thieves. The new law is in addition to the previous law, which remains in effect, under which identity theft is a crime.
“There are times when a criminal investigation and a prison term are the right response to identity theft,” Schmidt said. “But there also are times when the greater agility available to law enforcement under the Consumer Protection Act will be a more effective way of obtaining justice for victims of identity theft.”
The new law was approved last month in the Senate 39 to 1 and was approved today in the House of Representatives 121 to 0. It is named the Wayne Owen Law in honor of the late Sergeant at Arms in the Kansas House of Representatives who had been involved in reporting and fighting identity theft.
The bill will now be presented to Governor Sam Brownback for his consideration.