Obtaining Property by False Personation

Florida Statute Section 817.02 prohibits obtaining property by false personation. The crimes require proof that a person falsely personates or represents another person, and in such assumed character:

  • Receives any property intended to be delivered to that person, with intent to convert the same to his or her own use; or
  • To the extent not subject to s. 817.568, damages the credit history or rating of; or otherwise causes harm to, the person whose identity has been assumed through the taking of property from any person.

The crime of obtaining property by false personation is punished as if the person was convicted of larceny.

Under Florida Statute Section 817.02(2)(a), at the sentencing hearing after a conviction, in addition to restitution to the victim under s. 775.089, the court may order restitution for the victim’s out-of-pocket costs.

Those costs might include attorney fees and fees associated with services provided by certified public accountants licensed under chapter 473, incurred by the victim in clearing the victim’s credit history or credit rating, or costs incurred in connection with a civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy a debt, lien, or other obligation of the victim arising as a result of the actions of the defendant.

The sentencing court may issue such orders as necessary to correct a public record containing false information in violation of this section.

Under Florida Statute Section 817.02(3)(a), the victim of the conduct subject to this section can file a civil cause of action against a person who has engaged in the conduct prohibited by this section as provided in s. 772.11.

The term “victim” includes, to the extent not already included within s. 817.568, a person whose identity was falsely personated or who suffers a loss of property due to the false personation.

Section 817.02 expanded the definition of the crime of Obtaining Property by False Personation to include conduct that damages the victim’s credit rating.

The statute also expends restitution awards for victims of identity theft. Section 817.032 provides a procedure for victims of identity theft to obtain documentation from businesses/lenders free of charge. Section 817.011 defines “business entity” for purposes of chapter 817.

Attorney for Obtaining Property by False Personation

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, represent clients accused of crimes involving identity theft under Section 817.02, including obtaining property by false personation. We also represent clients accused of false impersonation of a law enforcement officer or designated investigator.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the pending charge, the elements of the offense, the penalties and punishments, and the best defenses. Call 813-250-0500.

This article was last updated on Friday, May 26, 2023.