- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio’s attorney general and two state lawmakers are pushing for harsher penalties against scammers who commit identity fraud and other theft crimes against active-duty service members and their spouses.

The bill from Republican state Reps. Mike Dovilla and Terry Blair amends the current identity fraud and theft laws to increase penalties for those types of crimes against military families.

DeWine said in a statement Tuesday that identity fraud against the military is increasing in Ohio. It was up almost 20 percent last year. And DeWine says the proposed legislation would give Ohio one of the toughest laws in the country with respect to punishing identity fraud aimed at active-duty service members.

The proposed legislation also would allow identity fraud victims to pursue civil lawsuits against offenders.

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