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Press Release

Local woman admits to decades-long use of stolen identity

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 52-year-old resident of Laredo has entered a guilty plea to passport fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Elizabeth Ann Berbel is also known as Ana Elizabeth Gomez-Garcia, Ana Elizabeth Gomez Garcia, Ana Elizabeth Gomez, Anna Elizabeth Gomez Garcia, Anna Elizabeth Gomez, Elizabeth Berbel, Elizabeth Ann Gomez, Tina Gomez-Manns and Anna Gomez.

On March 22, 2019, Berbel applied for a passport in Laredo. Part of the application required her to include the names of her parents, her place of birth and her Social Security number. However, as part of her plea, she admitted she included information that actually belonged to another person.

Berbel had been using the victim’s Social Security number and other information as early as 2001.

The investigation further revealed that in August 2005, law enforcement had stopped at Berbel at the Laredo Port of Entry. At that time, she was carrying multiple forms of identification, including a Social Security card with the victim’s number. Berbel admitted she was not the person on the identification documents and that she was in fact Ana Elizabeth Gomez Garcia, a citizen and national of Mexico. She also acknowledged having other identification documents hidden in her car. Berbel claimed she waited just a week or two before returning to the United States by using these other documents.

Authorities were also able to locate and identify several of Berbel’s biological family members. The investigation confirmed her true identity and not the one she had been assuming by using the victim’s information.

Part of Berbel’s guilty plea includes an agreement to turn over all identification documents that are in her possession.

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing Dec. 4. At that time, Berbel faces up to 10 years for the passport fraud. She will also receive a mandatory two years for the aggravated identity theft which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.

Berbel has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

The Department of State conducted the investigation with assistance from the Social Security Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Bajew is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 28, 2023

Topic
Identity Theft