[Second Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 2105

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 17, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman  JOHN DIMAIO

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

Assemblywoman  CELESTE M. RILEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Conaway, Assemblywomen Lampitt and Mosquera

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Clarifies that the offense of criminal impersonation includes acts committed by any means including electronic communications or Internet website; creates new disorderly persons and fourth degree offenses.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the General Assembly on May 24, 2012.

  


An Act concerning impersonation via electronic means and amending N.J.S.2C:21-17.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:21-17 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:21-17. Impersonation; Theft of identity; crime.

     a.     A person is guilty of an offense if the person engages in one or more of the following actions by any means including, but not limited to, the use of electronic communications or an Internet website:

     (1)   Impersonates another or assumes a false identity and does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another;

     (2)   Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another;

     (3)   Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person, in an oral or written application for services, for the purpose of obtaining services;

     (4)   Obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and uses that information, or assists another person in using the information, in order to assume the identity of or represent himself as another person, without that person's authorization and with the purpose to fraudulently obtain or attempt to obtain a benefit or services, or avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation or avoid prosecution for a crime by using the name of the other person; or

     (5)   Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement, in the course of making an oral or written application for services, with the purpose of avoiding payment for prior services.  Purpose to avoid payment for prior services may be presumed upon proof that the person has not made full payment for prior services and has impersonated another, assumed a false identity or made a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person in the course of making oral or written application for services.

     As used in this section:

     "Benefit" means, but is not limited to, any property, any pecuniary amount, any services, any pecuniary amount sought to be avoided or any injury or harm perpetrated on another where there is no pecuniary value.

     b.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2005, c.224).

     c.     A person who violates subsection a. of this section is guilty of [a crime]  1[an offense]  2[a crime1 ] an offenseas follows:

     (1)   If the actor obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in an amount less than $500 and the offense involves the identity of one victim, the actor shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that a second or subsequent conviction for such an offense constitutes a crime of the third degree; or

     (2)   If the actor obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in an amount of at least $500 but less than $75,000, or the offense involves the identity of at least two but less than five victims, the actor shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree; or

     (3)   If the actor obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit in the amount of $75,000 or more, or the offense involves the identity of five or more victims, the actor shall be guilty of a crime of the second degree1[; or

     (4)   If the actor obtains a benefit or deprives another of a benefit which has no pecuniary value and the offense involves the identity of one victim, the actor shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense]1.

     d.    A violation of N.J.S.2C:28-7, constituting a disorderly persons offense, section 1 of P.L.1979, c.264 (C.2C:33-15), R.S.33:1-81 or section 6 of P.L.1968, c.313 (C.33:1-81.7) in a case where the person uses the personal identifying information of another to illegally purchase an alcoholic beverage or for using the personal identifying information of another to misrepresent his age for the purpose of obtaining tobacco or other consumer product denied to persons under 2[18] 192 years of age shall not constitute an offense under this section if the actor received only that benefit or service and did not perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate any additional injury or fraud on another.

     e.     The sentencing court shall issue such orders as are necessary to correct any public record or government document that contains false information as a result of a theft of identity.  The sentencing court may provide restitution to the victim in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of P.L.2002, c.85 (C.2C:21-17.1).

     2[1f.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of this section, if the actor impersonates another or assumes a false identity and by means of electronic communications or an Internet website does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another which has no pecuniary value or for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another, and the offense involves one victim, the actor shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense. If the offense results in bodily injury to another or significant mental suffering or distress, the actor is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.1 ]

   f.     Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of this section:

     (1) If the actor impersonates another or assumes a false identity and by means of electronic communications or an Internet website does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another, and the offense involves the identity of one or more victims, the actor shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense; and

     (2) If the actor impersonates another or assumes a false identity and by means of electronic communications or an Internet website does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another, the offense involves the identity of one or more victims, and the offense results in bodily injury to another or significant mental suffering or distress, the actor is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.2    

(cf: P.L.2005, c.224, s.2)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.