Eastbound & Down is a comedy series on HBO, depicting the life of Kenny Powers, an ex-baseball star who has lost his fame and fortune, but not his cocky attitude. The second season premiere of Eastbound & Down aired Sunday, September 26. The episode is entitled Chapter 7. Kenny Powers is now in Mexico trying to make a new life for himself. He is using the identity of Steve Janowski, a friend from North Carolina who worked with Kenny as a middle school teacher in the previous season. The legal issue to be explored is Kenny’s use of identity theft. See here for a synopsis of the whole episode.

Kenny is shown using Steve’s identity to get cash out of an ATM in Mexico.

Kenny’s use of identity theft is a violation of federal law under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998.

Kenny has committed a felony by using Steve’s identity to obtain Steve’s money. The legal ramifications for committing the felony of identity theft include prison time for a maximum of 15 years or a fine, or both.

The applicable law in North Carolina is as follows:

Ҥ 14-113.20. Financial identity fraud.Identity theft.
(a) A person who knowingly obtains, possesses, or uses identifying information
of another person, living or dead, with the intent to fraudulently represent that the
person is the other person for the purposes of making financial or credit transactions in the other person’s name, to obtain anything of value, benefit, or advantage, or for the purpose of avoiding legal consequences is guilty of a felony punishable as provided in G.S. 14-113.22(a).

§ 14-113.22. Punishment and liability.
(a) A violation of G.S.14-113.20(a) is punishable as a Class G felony, except it is
punishable as a Class F felony if: (i) the victim suffers arrest, detention, or conviction as a
proximate result of the offense, or (ii) the person is in possession of the identifying information pertaining to three or more separate persons.

North Carolina also has statutes prohibiting identify theft. See here and here for North Carolina identity theft statutes as reproduced above.

See here for information on Class G felonies in North Carolina.

« »