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