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Unauthorized Use of Personal Identifying Materials, § 943.201(2) – Generally, Continuing Offense<

State v. George W. Lis, Sr., 2008 WI App 82
For Lis: Jefren E. Olsen, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:

¶7        As relevant here, a person violates Wis. Stat. § 943.201(2) when he or she

intentionally uses, attempts to use, or possesses with intent to use any personal identifying information … of an individual … (a) To obtain credit, money, goods, services, employment, or any other thing of value or benefit.

A violation of the statute is a continuing offense. State v. Ramirez, 2001 WI App 158, ¶16, 246 Wis. 2d 802, 633 N.W.2d 656. A continuing offense is a course of conduct that takes place over time, as opposed to a single incident, and is complete when the defendant performs the last act that, viewed alone, is a crime. John v. State, 96 Wis. 2d 183, 188, 291 N.W.2d 502 (1980). So, for example, in a welfare fraud case, the final act is the last receipt of welfare benefits. Id. at 191. In the identity theft context, a person who uses another’s identity to secure employment commits a continuing violation of § 943.201(2) so long as the person receives wages or other benefits from the employment. See Ramirez, 246 Wis. 2d 802, ¶17.

 

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