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Featured Image Credit: Western District of Missouri
A 48-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud after spending two years pretending to be her estranged 22-year-old daughter.
Laura Oglesby applied for a Social Security card in 2016 and went on to enroll in university, apply and secure student loans as well as get a driving licence.
She used the personal identity information of another person, identified in court documents as 'L.A.H.', which is said to be her daughter, Lauren Ashleigh Hays.
On 14 January 2016, when she applied for the Social Security card, Oglesby also obtained a Missouri driver’s licence. Then in 2017 she used the information to enroll at Southwest Baptist University.
Not done there, she then applied for student loans and obtained $9,400 (£7,100) in federal student loans, $5,920 (£4,470) in Pell Grants, $337 (£255) for books purchased at the university’s bookstore, and $1,863 (£1,400) in finance charges.
Upon pleading guilty, an agreement was reached which states that Oglesby must pay $17,521 (£13,250) in restitution to the university, as well as restitution to the victim of her aggravated identity theft.
According to reports, Oglesby lived with her daughter in Arkansas before moving to Missouri alone and losing contact with her child.
When she arrived in a town called Mountain View, the mother pretended to be a 22-year-old, dating men and getting a job at the library.
Chief Jamie Perkins of the Mountain View Police Department told The New York Times: "Everyone believed it. She even had boyfriends that believed that she was that age: 22 years old."
You might be wondering how Oglesby was found out and it wasn't until 2018 when things began to unravel.
It turns out that the mother was living with Avery and Wendy Parker, a pair in Mountain View, who allowed her to live with them when she told them she was fleeing a domestic violence situation.
Speaking to KY3, they said: "'A woman in town had said that there was a girl who had had an abusive relationship and she was at the Christos House [a shelter for abuse victims] and wanted to know if we could help her out, get her on her feet, get her started, mentor her and get her a fresh new life. We said sure, absolutely."
Avery Parker added: "She was a giddy, silly girl. She was 22 but she acted 17."
Eventually, the couple reached out to a family member and started to learn her true identity which was when authorities were brought in.
Reports now suggest that Oglesby could face five years in prison.