Me Want Cookie!

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Police arrested a Columbus Ohio bakery owner, Ava Misseldine, in Utah, on June 11, 2022, accusing her of stealing the identity of a dead baby. Misseldine allegedly used the stolen identity as “Brie” to become a flight attendant, get her pilot’s license, attend college, and receive $1.5 million in COVID loans from the U.S Federal Government.

Misseldine ran a highly successful bakery Koko Tea Salon and Bakery in Columbus Ohio that was featured on the Food Network. Her cookies were good, but that may be where the truth stops. She claimed that she was a former cancer researcher and grew up in Hawaii with a family that ran a generations old tea business. This was all a surprise to her family who claim that only the cookie recipe wasn’t a fraud.

Good fraudsters see expansion opportunities, and Misseldine realized she could achieve more with two identities. She allegedly stole the identity of “Brie Bourgeois” who died in 1979. Under the name of “Brie”, Misseldine filed for a social security card with a copy of Bourgeois’ real birth certificate. With this false information, she got a license and U.S. passport. As Brie, Misseldine went on to attend Ohio State University, work as a flight attendant, and get her student pilot certificate. She even registered a retail business.

It’s expensive to live two lives, and in April 2020, Misseldine and Misseldine as Brie, filed for and received $1.5 million in U.S. Federal Government Covid Relief listing various businesses, some of which are no longer open like Koko Tea Salon, and some which were never in existence.

It’s also confusing to live two lives. Misseldine’s fraudulent passport application as Brie contained similar information that was also in her passport application under her own name, such as emails and birthdates. This was noticed in the application for Brie, which led to an investigation and the arrest of Messeldine. Misseldine may be confused as to who she is, however, she knows she has been charged with passport fraud, Social Security number fraud, aggravated identity theft, and fraud in connection to emergency benefits.

Kudos to the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) for catching the duplicitous applications and the rest of the US agencies for the investigation and arrest.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, posted by NBC Columbus News, June 11, 2022

Columbus Woman Accused of Stealing Dead Baby’s Identity

A Columbus woman was arrested Friday in Utah on federal charges she stole the identity of a dead baby.

Ava Misseldine, 49, used the infant’s identity to obtain a passport, student pilot license, flight attendant job, admission to Ohio

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.