Todd Terrell Blanding recently found out co-worker used his identity for nearly six years
Fraud suspected when victim applied for passport
Brett Clarkson , Sun Sentinel
12:38 PM, Dec 29, 2012
2:49 PM, Dec 29, 2012
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -
When Wilde Jean-Louis applied for a passport in January 2006 in Delray Beach, he allegedly told authorities his name was Todd Terrell Blanding. He used a Florida birth certificate and a Florida driver's license in that name.
He got the passport.
More than six years later, on June 18, 2012, the real Todd Terrell Blanding, a U.S. citizen, submitted a passport application.
That's when things got complicated.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the West Palm Beach federal court, passport officials realized that a passport had already been issued to a man claiming to be Blanding. Yet here was Blanding standing in front of them.
Three days later, Blanding was interviewed by federal agents. He provided identification proving who he was, according to the complaint, which was filed by a special agent with the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service.
The Diplomatic Security Service is the law enforcement arm of the State Department.
Agents showed the real Blanding a picture of the man who had been issued a passport in his name. Blanding recognized the person as "Jean Joseph," a man he had worked with several years before, according to the complaint. Jean Joseph was from Haiti, Blanding said.
Officials did some more digging and checked with the Florida driver's license database. There, they saw that Jean-Louis had used a Haitian passport to apply for his Florida license.
A check of law enforcement databases and information from the Department of Homeland Security showed that Jean-Louis is not a U.S. citizen, the complaint reads.
While posing as Blanding, Jean-Louis "repeatedly" traveled between South Florida and Haiti from 2006 to 2011, the complaint said. On May 9, he traveled from Fort Lauderdale to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, returning on May 23.
Jean-Louis was arrested Dec. 6 in Orlando. On Thursday, he filed an unopposed motion to continue his arraignment on Jan. 31.
Jean-Louis faces four federal charges including identity theft, aggravated identity theft, falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen, and making a false statement on a passport application.