AG Van Hollen: Madison locksmith Joshua Burlin sentenced

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Bill Cosh


MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that on April 26, 2011, at a sentencing hearing before Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas J. McNamara, California resident Joshua Burlin was sentenced to serve two years of probation on his convictions for identity theft and making false statements under oath. Judge McNamara also authorized the transfer of Burlin’s probation to California, where Burlin recently took up residency.

Attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), acting as special prosecutors for Dane County, filed a criminal complaint in Dane County Circuit Court in July 2010 against Joshua Burlin, charging Burlin with five counts of false swearing and one count of identity theft. The crimes of false swearing and identity theft are both punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000, imprisonment not to exceed 6 years, or both.

The false swearing charges against Burlin are based upon false testimony Burlin gave in a deposition taken by the Department of Justice – Division of Consumer Protection in December 2009 regarding Burlin’s locksmith business practices. According to the complaint, Burlin falsely testified that he had never listed fictitious addresses on the Internet for his various locksmith business names and that he had never posted fictitious consumer reviews regarding his own business or competing businesses. However, according to the complaint, Burlin did in fact use false addresses and posted phony reviews on the Internet.

In addition, Burlin was convicted of identity theft for posting a phony ad on Craigslist stating that a competing locksmith business was for sale, in March 2009.

This case was investigated by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Wisconsin Statute Chapter 950 Victim Services are being provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services. Assistant Attorneys General Eric D. Défort and John S. Greene represented the State of Wisconsin as special prosecutors in this action.

A copy of the criminal complaint is available at: