MDWFP Continues Crackdown on License Fraud

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Conservation officers and agency investigators have some new tools at their disposal in fighting license fraud, according to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. License fraud occurs in a variety of forms. Most common is a case where a non-resident uses fraudulent means to purchase a resident license. Another fraud occurs when a convicted felon or non-resident might use identity theft of a resident or non-resident to procure a license. No matter the means, obtaining a hunting and/or fishing license by fraud is a felony, and is punishable by up to six months in jail. The violator must also buy the proper license and pay court costs, fines, and assessments.

"Our officers and investigators now have access to statewide databases that allow them to cross-reference names and addresses of those people suspected of license fraud," said Col. John Collins, Chief of Law Enforcement. "Our investigators can then zero in on the method used to perpetrate the fraud, and confront the violator."

Recently, a DeSoto County Justice Court judge accepted guilty pleas from four individuals whose fines totaled $3,150 plus court costs and assessments. In one case, a man was found to have fraudulently purchased a resident license for the past nine years. As part of his sentencing he was ordered to pay the state $2,247 in restitution.

Residency requirements are defined in the 2005-06 Outdoor Digest.

Report game and fish violators by calling 1-800-BE SMART (1-800-237-6278)