86-Year-Old Maine Man Convicted of Stealing Brother’s Identity for Over 50 Years

86-Year-Old Maine Man Convicted of Stealing Brother’s Identity for Over 50 Years

An 86-year-old man from Etna, Maine, named Napoleon Gonzalez, has been convicted of stealing his deceased brother’s identity for over 50 years. The conviction came after a U.S. District Court jury in Bangor, Maine found Gonzalez guilty of mail fraud, Social Security fraud, passport fraud, and identity theft on August 18, according to court records.

Gonzalez allegedly assumed his brother’s identity in 1965, using it to obtain a new Social Security number, multiple passports, and ID cards. He then used both his own identity and the stolen identity to receive double Social Security benefits, as per the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine.

The use of facial recognition technology by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) played a crucial role in catching Gonzalez. The BMV employs this technology to detect and prevent fraud when issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards. The software compares facial characteristics to ensure the authenticity of applicants. While the system usually does not flag any issues, it detected Gonzalez’s face on two separate sets of identifying information, leading to a second investigation in 2020.

Gonzalez claimed that he had been a member of the Air Force involved in an undercover operation in the 1960s. He stated that the Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations instructed him to assume his deceased brother’s identity as part of the mission. Later, he claimed to have faked his own death and continued living under his brother’s identity.

Gonzalez, who is due back in court for sentencing on an undisclosed date, could face up to 20 years in prison. His attorney, Harris Mattson, plans to appeal the conviction to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Mattson also believes that Gonzalez’s age will be taken into consideration during sentencing.


Author: CrimeDoor

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