During the pandemic, a lady faces 30 years in prison for stealing the identity of a deceased baby in order to work as a private jet flight attendant and swindle the US government of $1.5 million in false Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Federal prosecutors have accused Ava Misseldine, 49, of Columbus, Ohio, of stealing the identity of a baby who died in 1979 and is buried in a Columbus grave. Misseldine, according to prosecutors, took on the baby’s identity in 2003 and used it for the following 13 years until an investigation was initiated last year.
Misseldine used the deceased baby’s identity to obtain a passport, a student pilot license, and even entrance to Ohio State University.
Misseldine is facing charges of aggravated identity theft, passport fraud, Social Security number fraud, and emergency fraud.
Misseldine allegedly began the deception in 2003, when she exploited the deceased baby’s identity to obtain an Ohio ID before obtaining a fake Social Security card and driver’s license, according to court filings.
Misseldine applied for a passport in the name of the deceased baby four years later, stating she needed the travel document to work as a flight attendant for private jet charter airline JetSelect on overseas assignments.
Misseldine had previously duped the airline into hiring her under a false name.
During the pandemic, Misseldine is accused of taking advantage of pandemic relief schemes by applying for false Paycheck Protection Program loans for bakeries she no longer owned using both her real and phony identities.
She is accused of spending the money on a $647,500 new zone near Zion National Park in Utah. With the remaining debts, she purchased a second home in Michigan for $327,500.
Misseldine attempted to renew her forged passport in 2021, prompting an investigation. She risks a statutory minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison if proven guilty.
The claims are similar to those made against Ricardo Cesar Guedes, who took the identity of a murdered American baby. Guedes, a Brazilian national, took on the baby’s identity in order to live and work in the United States, eventually becoming a United Airlines flight attendant.
Guedes worked as a flight attendant for decades under a false identity until late 2020, when he tried to renew his passport. The passport office got suspicious and launched an investigation into Guedes’ true identity, which was revealed.