News and Press Releases

Defendant Stole Victim’s Identity for 35 Years in Order to Hide from Justice System

July 29, 2009

CLARK MOWER, 58, of Seattle, Washington, was arrested today in Seattle on three felonies: Aggravated Identity Theft, Social Security Number Misuse, and Unlawful Production of an Identification Document. MOWER was originally charged as “John Doe,” as federal agents worked to unravel his true identity.

MOWER had lived for 35 years unlawfully using the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of a man living in Oregon. MOWER used the victim’s identity in order to avoid felony and misdemeanor warrants from California, to file bankruptcy after incurring over $100,000 in debt, and to obtain Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) benefits. MOWER’s unlawful use of the victim’s identity for decades caused the victim numerous difficulties as he repeatedly attempted to correct his financial records and to correct his credit history. MOWER obtained fraudulent driver licenses under the victim’s name, as well as a counterfeit Social Security number card.

The charges in the complaint are punishable by a mandatory minimum two years in prison up to five years in prison. The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), U.S. Marshal’s Pacific Northwest Fugitive Task Force, and DSHS Investigators.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Johanna Vanderlee. Ms. Vanderlee is an attorney with the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General who is specially designated to prosecute social security fraud and identity theft cases in federal court.

For additional information please contact Special Assistant United States Attorney Johanna Vanderlee at (206) 553-7970.

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