An illegal immigrant allegedly stole the identity of a Houston teacher. Benita Cardona-Gonzalez used Candida Gutierrez’s persona to get a driver’s license, a mortgage, medical care, and employment. Identity theft cases were up from 251,000 in 2010 to 279,000 last year, according to the Daily Mail.
Cardona-Gonzalez reportedly did not stop at just opening up fraudulent bank and credit card accounts like many identity thieves. Candida’s entire life was turned upside down for approximately a decade after the con artist allegedly took over the Texas teacher’s entire identity.
The identity theft victim had this to say about the ordeal:
“When she claimed my identity and I claimed it back, she was informed that I was claiming it too. She knew I was aware and that I was trying to fight, and yet she would keep fighting. It is not like she realized and she stopped. No, she kept going, and she kept going harder. It is such a horrible nightmare. You get really angry, and then you start realizing anger is not going to help. But when you have so much on your plate and you keep such a busy life, it is really such a super big inconvenience. You have to find the time for someone who is abusing you.”
Guiterrez discovered the identity hijacking when she was turned down for a mortgage. She now goes to the Social Security office each year armed with her passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, and even school yearbooks to prove her employment record and identity. She has spent hours talking with credit bureaus and filled out affidavits to try to clean up her credit history, the Associated Press reports. The Houston teacher’s tax records are allegedly a mess due to the alleged identity theft by the illegal immigrant.
Both the real American citizen and the accused imposter each claimed they had been victims of identity theft when seeking a new Social Security number. The governmental agency turned down Gutierrez’s request for a new number and instead issued the card to the alleged con artist.
Cardona-Gonzalez was arrested and is currently awaiting trial on aggravated identity theft, production of a false document, and misuse of a Social Security card. The alleged imposter’s fingerprints taken at booking revealed that immigration agents had sent the woman back to Mexico after she initially crossed the border illegally in 1996.