One of the two women claiming to be Candida L. Gutierrez was sent to prison for total identity theft. The two women, a teacher from Houston and an illegal immigrant living in Topeka, met for the first time in a Witchita federal courtroom.
Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the use of fraudulent identification. In January, Benita Cardona-Gonzalez plead guilty to an aggravated felony which may or may not have her deported at the end of her sentence.
Many identity theft cases only go as far as financial fraud, involving debit and credit cards. But Benita Cardona-Gonzalez went so far as to use her false identity on her children’s birth certificates. So, she isn’t even the mother of her U.S. born children as far as the law is concerned. But the real Candida L. Gutierrez is extremely concerned by the Mexican native who’s stolen her identity and used it to afford the privilege of getting a mortgage, bank account, driver’s license, and even healthcare.
Cases such as this are prone to turn even the most prominent of immigrant advocates against immigration reform. Candida L. Gutierrez said she wanted to meet the woman who’d stolen her identity and put her through so much trouble. On her visit to Witchica, Candida L. Gutierrez said she wanted Benita Cardona-Gonzalez to see her face and take note of the person who unwillingly afforded her the chance to live her dreams.
Benita Cardona-Gonzalez did take note of her identity theft victim and asked for forgiveness while accepting her sentence. But Candida L. Gutierrez may not let up so easily after years of trying to prove her identity to the Social Security Administration and clear her credit and employment history.
According to Yahoo News, both women filed claims of total identity theft and the imposter was granted a new social security number. Candida L. Gutierrez was also denied a mortgage loan; Benita Cardona-Gonzalez was approved and the house later went into foreclosure.