A Pennsylvania man who assumed the identity of a baby who died in Texas in 1972 has been arrested on charges of Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft after the baby's aunt discovered the ruse on Ancestry.com.
Jon Vincent, 44, was arrested in Lansdale, near Philadelphia, on Monday, but had also lived near Pittsburgh and York, Pennsylvania since 2003 — after first obtaining a Social Security card in the name Nathan Laskoski in 1996, federal prosecutors said. Vincent remained jailed Wednesday, when a federal magistrate ordered him to appear for arraignment May 2.
Vincent stole the dead child's identity after escaping from a Texas halfway house in March 1996, and used the dead baby's identity to start another life, prosecutors said.
Laskoski's aunt did a search on Ancestry.com, a genealogy website. In researching her family tree, Nathan Laskoski's name came up as a "green" leaf on the website, which led to public records suggesting he was alive. The aunt told Laskoski's mother, who did more research and learned that someone had obtained a Social Security card under her son's name in Texas, as well as finding public marriage and divorce records, Laskoski's mother filed an identity theft complaint with the Social Security Administration.
The Social Security fraud charge carries up to five years in prison upon conviction, while the aggravated identity theft charge carries a penalty of two years in prison consecutive to any sentence imposed for the fraud count.