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Press Release

Mother Who Fled Country with Daughters Sentenced for Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Lawrence woman who pleaded guilty to forging her ex-husband’s signature on official documents when she fled to Europe with her daughters was sentenced Tuesday to three years on probation including six months home confinement, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said today.


Samantha C. Elmer, 34, Lawrence, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft. In her plea she admitted she forged her husband’s signature on a document giving her consent to take their two daughters to Europe. She filed the document as part of the process of getting passports for the girls.


Elmer was charged after she returned from Europe with the girls, who were 9 and 11 years old.


Beall commended the following agencies that worked on the investigation: the Lawrence Police Department, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, the Eudora Police Department, the Overland Park Police Department and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley.

Updated June 21, 2017