ID theft measure advances

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It may soon be easier to prosecute undocumented immigrants who use Social Security numbers belonging to someone else.

Utah's House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday unanimously endorsed HB229, which seeks to reverse a Utah Supreme Court ruling last year that if someone merely guesses at a Social Security number they use — and did not buy it from someone or steal it from documents — it does not violate state law.

Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, said the law should be "a matter of the use of the fake information," rather than how it was obtained. He said if someone is using it illegally to gain work or for identity theft, it should be illegal — and the bill would accomplish that.

— Lee Davidson