An “identity crisis” can occur at any time in life, especially when going through change.  The developmental psychology term refers to a point in life where an individual begins to seriously search deep within themselves for answers to questions, such as:  “Why am I here?” and “What am I supposed to do with my life?”  For instance, many teens go through periods of defiance against their parents and other authority figures as they try to figure out who they will be and what they will do as they enter into adulthood.  However, identity crises are not limited to adolescence and can occur in midlife, when people tend to analyze the life decisions they have made thus far.  The Elk Grove Patch details a story of a man somewhere between adolescence and midlife, who had several identities and is in the midst of a crisis due to a conviction for student loan fraud, among other crimes.

The story states that the 34-year-old man used multiple aliases to commit mail fraud, money laundering and student loan fraud. (He was certainly criminally ambitious.) Court documents indicate that the man applied for bank debit cards issued in his name (and additional aliases) or the names and Social Security numbers (SSN) of other persons.  He then used merchant and terminal identification numbers issued to merchants and businesses nationwide to cause fraudulent refunds and credits worth approximately $450,000 to be placed on the debit cards he controlled.  Before the businesses could revoke the fraudulent transactions, the fraudster used the cards to transfer and spend the money.

As if that wasn’t enough, the multi-alias con man also obtained more than $200,000 in student loans, in addition to another $250,000 in student loans he attempted to receive through fraudulent misrepresentations.  He applied for student loans using the names, SSNs and incomes of several students to complete applications to multiple universities, including two Ivy League schools.  After receiving some of the funds from two student loans, the man shared the wealth with his brother by writing multiple checks worth more than $19,000 each.

The fraudster pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering connected with the fraudulent use of debit cards and student loan fraud.  He could get 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for mail fraud and a 10-year prison sentence and another $250,000 fine for money laundering.  The brother pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

It sounds like there will be plenty of time for pondering the deep thoughts that prisoners have while serving time in jail.  Answering questions, such as:  “What was I thinking?” and “Where did I go wrong?” and “How can I make up for all of the crimes I committed against innocent people?” will be a great start in discovering how to become a law-abiding citizen.

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