Man in country illegally has been accused of identity theft

A Coon Rapids man, who allegedly admitted he was in the United States illegally, has been accused in Anoka County District Court of using the identity of a California resident with the same last name in order to get a job.

Jesus Juan Gordillo Morales, 43, 10101 Sycamore St. N.W., was charged by the Anoka County Attorney’s Office May 21 with felony identity theft.

The charge stems from the fact that the California resident, who has the same last name, Morales, but not the same first names, had received a bill from the Internal Revenue Service for $4,496 for working at a job in Minnesota, but never paying taxes on that income.

The California Morales has never been to Minnesota, let alone worked in Minnesota, nor did he know anyone in Minnesota, according to the complaint.

The Coon Rapids Morales allegedly admitted in a post-Miranda statement that he had used the Social Security number of the California Morales so that he could get a job, that in the past he had used a different Social Security number and that he had never filed income tax returns while in the U.S., nor filed for any tax refunds.

According to Det. Dave Westberg, Coon Rapids Police, who investigated the case, the Coon Rapids Morales has been in the United States since at least 1999 when he was arrested for a drunk driving offense.

The complaint alleges that in addition to the bill from the IRS for back taxes, the California Morales reported to his local police department in April that he had been online doing his taxes when he saw that someone in Maple Grove had been issued a W-2 form in his name and with his Social Security number.

Coon Rapids Police were called in because the person using the California Morales’ named and Social Security number was listed as living at the Sycamore Street address.

Westberg went to the business in Maple Grove and allegedly learned from managers that Morales had worked for the company since July 2011, but they knew him by the full name of the California Morales, the name he had given the business when he started working for them and provided a valid Social Security number, and he was not known by Coon Rapids Morales’ full name.

When Westberg contacted the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Drivers License Division, he alleged found that Morales had been issued an identification card by the state in October 2010 under the full name of the California Morales.

It had Morales’ picture on it and his Sycamore Street address, but the California Morales’ full name and date of birth, according to the complaint.

In addition, Westberg allegedly discovered that Morales had a driver’s license issued to him in June 2012 with his real name and date of birth.

May 20, Westberg went to Morales’ home, where he allegedly admitted that he was the person on the state ID card with the California Morales’ name and date of birth on it, then he presented a Wells Fargo debit card that had the California Morales’ name on it, stating he needed it to cash his pay checks.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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