Maria Del Carmen Diaz died on May 7, 1981 at the age of 8 years old. Maria Del Carmen Diaz has also made $283,464.35 as a teller at a Palm Beach County Wells Fargo bank as of August 19 of this year.
That would be because the Maria Del Carmen Diaz who's been working at Wells Fargo is actually Juliet Sherry-Ann Smith Mahabir, according to the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office, and she was arrested yesterday after investigators discovered she'd allegedly been using the dead child's identity for years.
In September 2002, Mahabir submitted the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of Diaz when was hired by Wells Fargo, according to an arrest affidavit.
Investigators later received information from the Department of State that Mahabir had fraudulently obtained a U.S. passport in Diaz' name, which she had surrendered through her attorney after she was confronted about it.
Agents from the Department of State went to the parents of Mahabir's husband, who confirmed that the woman going by Maria Del Carmen Diaz was actually Juliet Sherry-Ann Smith Mahabir.
That's when investigators discovered that Mahabir had created an entire financial history using Diaz' identity, including getting a job, buying a home and cars, obtaining numerous lines of credit, and also filing for bankruptcy, the report says.
Investigators then obtained a certificate of death from the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, confirming Diaz died in 1981.
"It never ceases to amaze me the lengths some people will go to steal the hard-earned money from the pockets of honest Floridians," state CFO Jeff Atwater says in a statement. "For someone to take advantage of the death of a child and rack up thousands of dollars of debt in their name is reprehensible."
Mahabir has been charged with criminal use of personal identification information, a felony which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
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She's since been released from jail on $15,000 bond.