An 86-year-old man accused of assuming his brother’s identification a long time in the past and utilizing it to double dip on Social Safety advantages has been convicted of a number of prices after being caught by facial recognition know-how that matched the identical face to 2 totally different identities, authorities say.
Napoleon Gonzalez, of Etna, Maine, assumed the identification of his brother in 1965, a quarter-century after his sibling’s demise as an toddler, and used the stolen identification to acquire Social Safety advantages beneath each identities, a number of passports and state identification playing cards, regulation enforcement officers mentioned.
A U.S. District Courtroom jury in Bangor on Friday discovered Gonzalez responsible of mail fraud, Social Safety fraud, passport fraud and identification theft. Mail fraud carries the best potential jail sentence, as much as 20 years.
His lawyer mentioned Tuesday that he intends to enchantment and can search to maintain Gonzalez out of jail till the U.S. 1st Circuit Courtroom of Appeals points a ruling.
Gonzalez’s advantages had been beforehand investigated by the Social Safety Administration in 2010 for potential fraud, and his advantages had been upheld.
A brand new investigation was launched in 2020 after facial identification software program indicated Gonzalez’s face was on two state identification playing cards.
The facial recognition know-how is utilized by the Maine Bureau of Motor Autos to make sure that nobody obtains a number of credentials or credentials beneath another person’s title, mentioned Emily Cook dinner, spokesperson for the secretary of state’s workplace.
“When fraud is detected, the fraudulent transactions are investigated and referred for administrative and/or felony proceedings. That’s what occurred with this case,” she mentioned.
When confronted, Gonzalez claimed that he took on his deceased brother’s identification on the route of the Air Pressure’s Workplace of Particular Investigations whereas taking part in an undercover operation within the Nineteen Sixties, in response to courtroom paperwork. He later admitted to faking his demise beneath his personal identification and persevering with along with his brother’s identification, the paperwork indicated.
A sentencing date has not but been set for Gonzalez, who stays free.
His lawyer, Harris Mattson, mentioned he didn’t suppose the federal government proved all the components of the a number of counts in opposition to his consumer, and he questioned the knowledge of the imposition of a prolonged jail sentence for his consumer at his age.
Mattson mentioned it’s ironic that it might price extra for his consumer to be imprisoned than the price of the twin advantages he had been receiving.
“On the age of 86, he doesn’t know the way for much longer he has to dwell. He might simply be in jail for the remainder of his life,” Mattson mentioned.