My personal Identity Theft Story

My name is John Shelby and this is my personal Criminal Identity Theft story. It all started in Dec. of 1997. I had been hired for a really good job, but was pretty much immediately fired on my first day due to a Criminal Background Check (C.B.C.). The background check said that I was currently incarcerated in my home-town of El Paso,Tx. I was shocked and embarrassed to say the least. So I went down to the downtown precinct in El Paso to see what was going on.
Apparently, this guy had previously used my name when picked up for a robbery, had plead guilty, and had subsequently been arrested a second time for multiple felonies and had once again used my name and was (according to the fingerprint analyst) currently incarcerated. The officer then showed me the perpetrator’s mug-shot and I recognized the guy from the neighborhood. After a few phone calls, I was able to identify the guy as Jason Michael Newton. I was thanked for my time and help, then given a document stating that I had no record on file, and was sent on my way. I was a little perplexed as to how this had happened. I had been arrested myself in 1991 for a trespassing charge that was dismissed, but I had been booked and fingerprinted. So how had this mistake happened?
Well, over the next year, I had the worst time of my life. I had problems gaining employment, I eventually ended up living on the streets in Virginia Beach, Va., which was where I had previously been stationed in the Navy. Talk about rough times, but I never thought to put the two together. Eventually, by the grace of God, I was able to get off the streets and finally gain employment. Life went on, but it was always a struggle. I just never noticed the signs. I knew I had been unable to land a good job no matter my references but thought I was just unlucky. I had been denied a gun permit but was not told why, I just assumed it was due to my arrest in 1991. It wasn’t until 2004 when I had been hired for a Civil Service job, and once again immediately fired for lying on my application about my criminal record, that I realized what was happening.
Apparently, back in 1997 when I had originally gone to the El Paso police Station, that paperwork had never been filed. Mr. Newton had been released on bail under my name and had skipped bail. There were warrants for my arrest. To top it all off, the reason he had used a fake name in the first place was because he was a fugitive for a murder charge in Plano,Tx. Well, he was eventually caught and convicted. Unfortunately, that crime was also showing up on my Criminal Background Check as well as others that he had been convicted of in his own name, since I was his ALIAS. I was screwed. It all made some sense now.
That was when I started fighting. I was on the phone with the EPPD on almost a daily basis trying to get this cleared up. They at first had no idea what I was talking about since that original paperwork had never been filed, they said that basically Mr. Newton had used my ID (a lie by the way-I HAVE PROOF) so it was a case of Criminal Identity Theft. They were also adamant that there was nothing that could be done and I was just basically screwed and I would have to learn to live with it. I was furious. I started calling the news station here in Virginia Beach and was interviewed. They made a stink in Austin,Tx. for me, and the people at the State Attorney general’s office told me how to get my name cleared. But El Paso is a whole different third world country in comparison to the rest of the State of Texas, so they still refused to help. I guess they felt they were above the law.
I contacted many people over the next couple of years, politicians, Identity Theft Advocates, attorneys, you name it. With the help of these contacts, and especially the help of Brian Falco (a Criminal identity Theft expert) who was very diligent in helping me get my name cleared. Finally in Jan. of 2008, with much pressure, my record was finally expunged and the warrants for my arrest were finally dropped. Believe me, it still wasn’t over. Through the paperwork that I received after the expuncture, I started to realize all of the mistakes and cover-ups on the part of the El Paso Police Department.
It turns out that Mr. Newton had never used my ID. He had just stated my name. His whole arrest sheet was copied off of my prior arrest sheet in 1991. After his first arrest under my name, for which he plead guilty and awarded me with 2 years probation, he was given all of my personal information by the EPPD. His arrest sheet had my stats instead of his even though he was 6 years younger than me, had different colored hair and eyes, outweighed me by about 50 pounds, and was at least 5 inches taller than me. The license number that they said he had used when arrested was my license number in 1991, that had also been surrendered in another state when I had gotten a new license. They filled in my SSN on the arrest sheet. Then they gave him all of this information when he was released, so it was even easier for him to use my info the next time this career criminal was arrested.
To make it even worse. They checked the boxes on the arrest sheet that stated that they had verified his prints through FBI and DPS. Obviously untrue, since he was a fugitive with a prior record at that time. Talk about a comedy of errors on the part of these officers that made the Keystone Cops look like CSI:Miami. Because of the obvious negligence, I wasn’t even able to vote, among other Civil Rights that a Disabled Veteran should have.
So, where do I stand now? Well, due to the fact that the people in El Paso can’t seem to follow through with anything or do anything right, I still show up on many background checks. I am actually pursuing a civil suit against them. I still deliver pizzas(long story). And I am constantly active in completely clearing my name.
Seriously, if you have been a victim of any kind of Identity Theft, don’t just check your credit but also your Criminal Background. You never know, I didn’t. Even if you are just having problems getting employment, this could be the reason.