News & Resources

Painter held Bronx man's identity for 20 years

Sep 16, 2011 Karen Umpierre

A teacher's aide from the Bronx, New York, has allegedly been the unknowing victim of identity theft for the past two decades, the Sun Sentinel reports. Last August, Jose Luis Alvarez applied for a passport so he could attend his sister's wedding in Jamaica. However, his application was red-flagged because a passport had already been issued in his name. A plantation artist is currently in federal custody, accused of stealing Alvarez's identity and using it for his personal gain for the past 20 years. "We don't know who this person is," Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha Mitrani told a magistrate, as quoted by the news source. Federal authorities are now referring to the fraudulent Alvarez as "FNU LNU" - an acronym used by law enforcement for persons whose first name and last name are both unknown. The perpetrator allegedly stole the Bronx man's date of birth and Social Security number to obtain a passport in 1987. He has since renewed it twice without issue. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the fraudster's paintings were recently featured in West Palm Beach, Florida's Norton Museum of Art. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted.