Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Identity Theft Movie based on Heddi Ille and Michelle Brown

Identity Theft is a Lifetime Television movie that is based on Heddi Larae Ille. It first aired in 2004.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Identity Theft True Story

 Identity Theft True Story
by Traciy Curry-Reyes

The real story took place in 1998 in California when Michelle Brown's name and social security number were stolen from a rental application by Heddi Ille. Turns out Heddi knew the owner of the rental company, and she was somehow able to obtain the application. She used Michelle Brown's info off of the application to get a driver's license which she used to drive and  to travel extensively. She also used Michelle Brown's identity to buy property and to buy a vehicle worth $32,000 which she failed to pay. Ille took out a home phone in her name and did not pay the bill. When she was arrested for trying to smuggle illegal drugs she used Michelle Brown's name. Michelle had a hard time clearing her own name for quite some time. She suffered tremendously because of it. She had to explain that she was not THAT Michelle Brown everywhere she went. She just was not able to understand who could possibly do something like this to her. She knew that her family and friends would not be capable of such a crime. It was her landlord who helped her figure out who it could be. He knew a woman named Heddi Ille who had a history of committing fraud. The police investigated the case and deduced that it was really a woman named Heddi Ille. Ille was caught and prosecuted for stolen property, but not for identity theft. Michelle Brown continued to work to have some sort of legislation passed so that people are arrested and prosecuted for identity theft and not just for stolen property. That bill was finally passed and is now a law. Even while incarcerated in a federal prison, Michelle was caught sending and receiving mail in Michelle Brown's name, until the real Michelle Brown put a stop to it. Today, Michelle Brown lives life as carefully as possible. She does everything she can to make sure that her identity cannot be stolen again.

Extra Tidbits

The real Michelle Brown lived her life totally different than Heddi Ille. First of all they looked nothing alike. Michelle Brown paid everything on time, had a very good job working as a credit anaylist, and lived in a very nice neighborhood. She was responsible and had never had a run in with the law. Heddi Ille, on the other hand had several run ins with the law, and she was known to commit fraud. Also, she very rarely paid anything on time.

It took the real Michelle Brown about a year to figure out what was going on

Heddi Ille assumed about $50,000 worth of debt in Michelle's name.
Heddi was known to be involved in drug trafficking.
Heddi was released from federal prison in 2004

I have seen a photo of Heddi Ille. I cannot be sure, but it looks like she has changed her last name and hair color again.

There are a few really good books that can give you more info about identity theft. The problem of identity theft in this country is huge. A person's identity is stolen about every 60 seconds in the U.S targeting hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.

I have listed some other cases below.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The IRS Makes Arrests in Fraudulent Tax Return Cases

Well, the IRS continues to battle tax fraud and the stolen identity cases are constantly rising. Today, the IRS announced that they are investigating over 300 cases of tax fraud involving stolen social security numbers that are being used to file fraudulent tax returns. Of those 300 cases over 100 people have been arrested. Most of the people who were arrested involved illegal aliens or undocumented workers who are using the fake social security cards to file their taxes and collect refunds, but, many of the offenses are being committed by American citizens too. The IRS stated that they are doing their best to get a handle on the problem by hiring more IRS employees to monitor the cases. Most of the crimes are being committed in big cities, such as New York, Texas, California, and Philadelphia.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Identity Theft and Stolen Idenity Cases On the Rise

I am keeping a running list of Identity Theft aka Stolen Identity Cases by Year.

1994: The case of Paul Gruber and Darryl Kuehl

1998: The case of Gary Wayne Thomas and George Kalomeris. This identity theft case ended in murder.

1999: Michelle Brown found out that a woman named Heddi Larae Ille had been using her social security number to get a driver's license, a condo, and a car in her name. It took about 7 years to bring her to justice. A movie was made about her case called Identity Theft The Michelle Brown Story in 2004.

2013: (January-2013) Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, a Mexican undocumented worker assumed the identity of Texas teacher Candida Gutierrez. Her identity was stolen for about 12 years total before Cardona-Gonzalez was taken in to custody.

2013: February 8: The IRS aka the Internal Revenue Service makes arrests in tax return fraud cases.

Teacher Victim of Identity Theft by Undocumented Immigrant

Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, plead guilty to assuming the identity of Candida Gutierrez, a teacher in Texas according to the Associated Press. Benita Cardona-Gonzalez was living in Topeka, Kansas at the time.  According to Candida Gutierrez, the woman opened credits cards and bank accounts with her social security number. She also used the number to buy a home and to get food stamps from the local Department of Human Resources. Candida had realized that her identity had been stolen after being turned down for a mortgage about 12 years ago. This is something that Ms.Gutierrez had been dealing with for many years. The woman has accepted a plea deal which means that she will serve 18 months in Federal prison and then agree to deportation after she finishes her sentence.

The twist in the case: Ms. Gutierrez was turned down by the Social Security Administration for a new social security number, but a new number was issued to the woman who had been impersonating her for years. According to ABC NEWS, Candida Gutierrez had to file her income taxes with a special EIN number, which is usually reserved for undocumented workers.

Associated Press

Monday, July 9, 2012

Stolen Identity: George Kalomeris (Gary Wayne Thomas and Thomas Wayne Jones)

 Another case of stolen identity unrelated to the story or the film above.

1998 Delaware, Maryland
A home care nurse arrived, and saw that her employer was missing, and there was blood on the floor. The police were called, and discovered tire tracks leading from the home to an open field. Thomas Wayne Jones was found lying in the field. He had been shot in the back, but was still clinging to life. He told police that it was his friend George Kalomeris who had shot him. When police searched for Kalomeris, he had vanished. Mrs. Kalomeris, called police and informed them of her husband's whereabouts. They arrested him for attempted murder. He admitted that they were friends, but denied any involvement in the ambush attack. While following up on a tip, police found mail with the name Gary Wayne Thomas. The police thought the name sounded very similar to their victim, who had since died during their investigation. It was discovered that Gary Wayne Thomas was a real person and a friend of George Kalomeris. But, that he had been missing for at least three years.  U.S Postal Crime Lab compared the writing samples of the mail for both victims and confirmed that George Kalomeris had authored the signatures on the letters. He eventually confessed in order to escape the death penalty. He told police that he was jealous of Gary Wayne Thomas' wealth and plotted to kill him and assume his identity. In 1996, he lured Gary to a field and shot him. He scattered the remains so that he could never be found. He decided to do the same thing to Thomas Wayne Jones. George Kalomeris was convicted and received 395 years in prison. His wife Noreen Kalomeris was also arrested for bank fraud.

Identity Theft: Paul Gruber and Darryl Kuehl

 Here is another case of stolen identity. This happens much more often than one may think.


Shellie Kepley, came in from Reno to check on her father Paul Gruber. She suspected that something was wrong because she had not seen or heard from her father in a month. He was only 54 years old and very wealthy. She called her father, but could not reach him. She had received some greeting cards from her father, but noticed that the signature seemed forged.

Darryl Kuehl

When the police arrived at the victim's home, they found plastic covers on the furniture. They discovered a computer missing, guns missing, and the safe was missing.  There appeared to be no one living there, but all of his accounts were still active. The detectives found out that he had been paying the mortgage for a man named Darryl Kuehl. When police contacted Darryl Kuehl he explained that he was a contractor who had done some work for Paul, and that Paul was an investor in his new business. Instead of paying cash, he paid his mortgage instead. Sherry said that her father would never agree to do such an agreement. Kuehl was asked to review a photo of Paul, and he stated that he didn't recognize him and that the man that he had been dealing with must have been an imposter.  He was asked to describe Paul Gruber, and the sketch artist had a picture of someone who looked completely different.

Police investigator's checked surveillance video at Gruber's post office box, and they could see Darryl Kuehl standing outside the p.o. box. He had been picking up Gruber's mail, and stealing money out of his accounts. A search was done on Kuehl's home where they found many items that belonged to Gruber. They wanted to arrest him for theft and forgery, but had no body. Upon inspecting the victim's home again police found a crawl space. They started digging beneath the crawl space of Gruber's home where they found his body. He was found 17 months later wrapped in an air mattress. He had been shot six times. Kuehl had tried to steal his identity, A DNA analysis at the crime lab confirmed that Kuehl's saliva was on the stamps.  Darryl Robin Kuehl was found guilty of theft forgery and murder. He was sentenced to over 50 years in prison.