Lara's Measure Protecting Seniors from Identity Theft Heads to Assembly Floor

January 19, 2012

Sacramento - Assembly Member Ricardo Lara's (D-Bell Gardens) AB 1325, an identity theft and consumer protection bill is headed to the Assembly floor with unanimous bipartisan support. The Assembly Member introduced the measure in response to numerous complaints of identity theft received by the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's Office and a recent LA Times article which highlighted the story of an 80 year-old woman whose address was used as headquarters for an enterprise.

Specifically, AB 1325 prevents identity theft by requiring an applicant for a Fictitious Business Name Statement (FBN) to present proper identification when applying and clarifies the penalty for providing false identification, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000.

"We've come to expect a certain level of protection from our public agencies. It is unfortunate that our seniors are being preyed upon because of insufficient administrative controls that could easily be adopted. AB 1325 will close that gap and will protect consumers in a meaningful way" said Assembly Member Lara.

The state requires any person doing business for profit under a fictitious name to register a Fictitious Business Name Statement (FBN). While current law criminalizes the act of providing false information on an FBN statement, existing law does not require an FBN applicant to provide proper identification, at the time of filling, in order verify the information submitted on the FBN form.

Over the years, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County - Clerk's Office has received several complaints from constituents claiming that their addresses are being fraudulently used as the primary place of business for a business they do not own. In many cases, unsuspecting victims are made aware of the identity theft after receiving correspondence from entities such as the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) with tax information about the business(s) in their name. Some victims have even received packages containing goods or credit cards for the business registered with their address.

AB 1325 provides a simple, yet effective solution for preventing identity theft. The bill was heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee today and received unanimous bipartisan support.