If I used my sons social SSN to get utilities put on, can I go to jail?

I used his SS to get land line phone several times and finance a computer 14 years ago he was only 8 years. He is now 21 and wants to clear it up but fears my going to jail. i was young and desperate; I didn’t realize that I could not pay the amount or that it was illegal.

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Consult with an attorney, one with experience in identify theft and fraud cases, before doing anything. The main issue is actually not whether or not you were able to pay--the primary issue is that you committed both identity theft and fraud by using your son's social security number to secure the phone service and phone. If you come forward voluntarily and also agree to pay the appropriate restitution, there is a good chance you will only suffer a minimal punishment and may be able to avoid jail time entirely--but given that the possible consequences are serious, you need legal representation and consultation before acting.

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