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A Missouri mother who was accused of stealing her daughter’s identity and impersonating her is now facing half a decade behind bars.
Laura A Oglesby, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri announced on Monday. She now faces the possibility of up to five years in a federal detention center without the possibility of parole.
Oglesby confessed to illegally applying for a Social Security card in her daughter’s name on Jan. 14, 2016, according to a copy of the case’s indictment obtained by Oxygen.com. Prosecutors say she later used the document to obtain a driver’s license, enroll in college, and take out student loans as her daughter, identified only as “L.A.H.” in her plea agreement.
For approximately two years, Oglesby masqueraded as her daughter — using her name, dating significantly younger men and posing as a 20-something college student. She was also awarded $9,400 in federal student loans, $5,920 in Pell Grants and $337 for books in her daughter's name, prosecutors said.
“Everybody believed it,” Mountain View Police Chief Jamie Perkins said, the New York Times reported. “She even had boyfriends that believed that she was that age: 22 years old.”
Oglesby also worked at a local library in Mountain View, Missouri under her daughter's name.
"She actually was employed here, which was kind of odd,” Chief Perkins added. “And that’s how we figured out who she was.”
Local authorities arrested Oglesby during a traffic stop after being contacted by authorities in Arkansas, where her daughter lived, about the identity theft.
Local police said Oglesby claimed she'd been using a false identity in order to shield herself from an abusive relationship.
"We don’t know her life story outside of what she told us, but we know what happened here,” said Perkins.
The Social Security Administration also assisted in the investigation.
“I have never seen an ID case like this at all, whether from fleeing from abuse or any other type,” Stetson Schwien, assistant chief of the Mountain View Police Department in Missouri, told NBC News. “She had put together a full false ID — she had gotten a Missouri ID and gotten a valid Social Security number, the whole bit.”
Oglesby was ultimately ordered to pay $17,521 in restitution to the university, as well as restitution to her daughter, according to a plea agreement obtained by Oxygen.com.
The university in question where Oglesby enrolled also wasn’t revealed in federal court filings but there is only one in Mountain View, Missouri: Southwest Baptist University-Mountain View.
Charlotte Marsch, the director of marketing and communications for the school, has since confirmed the charges against the 48-year-old former student.
“We were saddened to learn about the situation and cooperated fully with the investigation,” Southwest Baptist University-Mountain View said in a prepared statement sent to Oxygen.com. “Our prayers are with all involved.”
The university, which acknowledged Oglesby’s previous enrollment status, declined to comment further about heracademic history.
Oglesby’s sentencing hasn’t yet been scheduled, according to Don Ledford, the Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District Of Missouri. Federal prosecutors declined further comment on the pending case on Friday.
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