A Columbus, Ohio, woman was arrested Thursday on federal charges in Utah for stealing the identity of a baby who died in 1979.
Ava Misseldine, 49, was charged with Social Security number fraud, passport fraud, aggravated identity theft, and fraud.
She began using the name Brie Bourgeois in 2003. However, the real Brie Bourgeois is buried in a Columbus cemetery.
Misseldine used the deceased infant’s identity to obtain a student pilot’s license, a job as a flight attendant, get a passport, and gain admission into the Ohio State University. In addition, he applied for an Ohio ID, driver’s license, and Social Security Card.
ABC6 reports that an investigation was opened in 2021 when Misseldine tried to renew her license.
She fraudulently received $1.5 million in Payroll Protection Program funds in 2020 by using her fake and real identities. Throughout the years, she used both the fraudulent name and her real name.
Misseldine used the PPP money to buy a $647,000 home in Utah and a $327,000 home in Michigan. She obtained Utah driver’s licenses under both of her names after moving there in 2021.
Before relocating to Utah, Misseldine ran a successful bakery in Columbus. The Koko Tea Salon & Bakery was once featured on a Food Network show.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that if convicted, she up to 30 years in prison.