State Representative Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) recently introduced legislation to allow the Ohio Attorney General to investigate the offenses of unauthorized use of property and telecommunications fraud, as well as to modify the penalties for telecommunications fraud.

House Bill 329 would address the issue of cyber-fraud by granting the Ohio Attorney General the authority to investigate potential criminal violations and to issue subpoenas and compel witness testimony in investigations. Furthermore, the bill creates additional criminal penalties for telecommunications fraud consistent with the recently revised identity theft and theft status in the Ohio Revised Code and for fraud against an elderly or disabled person.

“This legislation is of a particular interest to me because of a constituent who contacted the office as a victim of cyber-fraud resulting in a rather substantial loss of money,” McGregor said. “In this increasingly technological world, many transactions are conducted via electronic means, but under current law, the Attorney General’s office is ill-equipped to investigate fraudulent activity that takes place online. This bill will grant them the authority to better protect consumers.”

Additionally, the legislation allows the consumer protection section of the Ohio Attorney General to use moneys in the telemarketing fraud enforcement fund for expenses that are related to the investigation or prosecution of telemarketing or other crimes investigated by the section.

House Bill 329 will be assigned to a House committee, where it will undergo further consideration and debate.


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