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Press Release

Local woman sent to prison for decades-long use of stolen identity

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

LAREDO, Texas – A 53-year-old woman has been sentenced for passport fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Elizabeth Ann Berbel pleaded guilty Aug. 28, 2023.

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.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison has now ordered Berbel to serve six and 24 months for the passport fraud and aggravated identity theft convictions, respectively. They will run consecutively for a total 30-month-term of imprisonment. Berbel was also ordered to pay $3,083.43 in restitution. During the hearing, the court heard testimony from the victim who described the trauma she has experienced as a result of Berbel’s conduct as well as the negative impact the use of her identity has had on her life and career.

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. At the time of the plea, Berbel 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. At the time, 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 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.

She will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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 prosecuted the case.

Updated May 17, 2024

Identity Theft