Intent to Fraudulently Misrepresent
One of the elements of identity theft is that a person have the intent to fraudulently represent himself as another person for the purpose of making a financial transaction, obtaining something of value or avoiding legal consequences. As is the case in many crimes, it can be hard to obtain direct evidence of a person’s intent. Where there is no direct evidence of intent, the defendant’s intent can be inferred based on the defendant’s actions and conduct.
For example, one recent North Carolina case involved a person who possessed the credit card numbers of four people, and fraudulently used other individuals’ credit card numbers. North Carolina courts held that a reasonable juror could infer that based on the defendant’s fraudulent use of other individuals’ credit numbers, the defendant had the requisite intent to fraudulently use the four credit card numbers he possessed.
In another North Carolina case, a man committed a burglary and was found and detained by the police. At the time of his detention, he had another person’s ID in his possession and he represented himself as this other person. The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that this was sufficient to show intent for identity theft because he was trying to avoid the legal consequences of arrest.