Living Someone Else's AmericanDream

Register now

BOSTON - (04/07/05) -- A 39-year-old illegal immigrant andher husband were convicted in federal court this week of a broadidentity theft scheme which enabled them to use another woman'scredentials to buy a home, qualify for federally guaranteed studentloans, borrow thousands of dollars from a local credit union, andeven gain U.S. resident status. Itza Ruiz was found guilty ofstealing the Social Security number of Aixa Gomez-Ramos and usingit and the name to take out a $320,000 mortgage on a local bank,obtain $5,000 in student loans, a $6,000 loan from KeyBank, and totake out a membership at St. Jean's CU in Lynn, Mass., where shewracked up thousands of dollars in debt on a Visa Gold Card, achecking account, and a $10,000 signature loan. Ruiz also usedGomez-Ramos' identity to gain legal immigrant status, according toa grand jury indictment obtained by The Credit Union Journal. Thescheme unraveled when the victim tried to obtain a car loan but wasturned down when all of the debt was revealed on her credit report.Ruiz and her husband, Heriberto Ruiz, face years in prison andpossible deportation when they are sentenced in June.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.