Monday, January 4, 2010

Identity Thief Gets Two Month Sentence After Years of Conning

Sara BenitezA Manhattan woman still dealing with the repercussions of an identity theft that began in 1992 is furious that the con artist who victimized her is getting off with just 60 days in prison. Sara Benitez, 44, became aware of the extent of the damage caused by Araceilis Cherico, 46, when she tried to get married at City Hall in 2004. At the registrar's office, the clerk told Benitez she was already married to someone else. She still hasn't been able to tie the knot, and couldn't even get a passport because Cherico got one using her name.

It's unclear how Cherico swiped her identity, but she used it to marry a man in 1992, to claim Benitez's children as dependents to get a tax break, to blow off parking tickets, and, of course, shop. It wasn't until a crooked tax preparer, Miguelina Fana, pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent returns earlier this year that the law caught up with Cherico. Yesterday she pleaded guilty to felony identity theft, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. gothamist

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