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Rubben L. Burton Pleads Guilty to Stealing Identities to Commit Financial Crimes Against Multiple Victims


MADISON-A Milwaukee man who stole the identities of Milwaukee-area victims, including boy scouts and the elderly, is going to prison. Rubben L. Burton, 46, was convicted of three counts of identity theft in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in a case prosecuted by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice. The Court sentenced Burton to the maximum term of six years on each count, with three years initial confinement and three years extended supervision. The Court stayed the sentence with regard to counts 2 and 3, placing the defendant on probation for a period of five years following his confinement and extended supervision period. Burton was also ordered to pay $12,295 in restitution.


Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said that Burton appeared in court yesterday for sentencing after having entered a guilty plea to three felony counts of identity theft on June 5, 2007. Two additional counts of identity theft were read in at the time of sentencing.


According to the criminal complaint, Burton was involved in a series of identity thefts throughout 2006. The victims included individuals whose personal identifying information was stolen from vehicle break-ins and thefts, as well as an elderly woman whose bank account was compromised when her deceased husband's signature was forged on checks. The complaint details how Burton used a post office box at the Fred John Station in Milwaukee in order to receive mail in the victims' names. Burton would fill out a change of address form to forward the victims' mail in order to intercept mail intended for the victim.


"Fighting crime in Wisconsin includes effectively combating the increasing problem of identity theft," Van Hollen said. "The Department of Justice assists local prosecutors, provides support to local law enforcement, and works with other state and federal agencies to fight identity theft. Individuals can minimize risks on their own, too. All citizens of Wisconsin should take steps to protect their personal information. Young adults and seniors should be particularly sensitive to identity theft, as they are often the victims."


Van Hollen said citizens could learn more about identity theft and ways to protect themselves by visiting the DOJ Web Site's Page on Identity Theft.


Resources to help consumers are also available through the Office of Privacy Protection's Web Site and the Federal Trade Commission's Web Site.


The Milwaukee District Attorney's office led the prosecution of the case. The Wisconsin Department of Justice came in to assist in the prosecution after being alerted by the Office of Privacy Protection of complaints filed by victims with their office.


Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Charles F. Kahn presided. Assistant Attorney General Nelle Rohlich prosecuted the case along with Milwaukee Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.