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Mom pleads guilty to fraud after stealing daughter's identity, enrolling as her at Missouri college

Police said that when they finally tracked down Laura Oglesby, 48, she had obtained loans and a driver's license in her estranged daughter's name.

A woman has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud for obtaining loans and going to a Missouri college using the stolen identity of her estranged daughter, federal prosecutors said.

The woman, Laura A. Oglesby, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud and agreed to pay at least $17,000 in restitution to Southwest Baptist University for obtaining $9,400 in federal student loans, $5,920 in Pell Grants and over $2,000 for books and fees, the Justice Department said in a statement Monday.

Oglesby faces up to five years in prison, although she could be sentenced to less, the Justice Department said. Oglesby’s attorney, Michelle Nahon Moulder, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Stetson Schwien, assistant chief of the Mountain View Police Department in Missouri, said in a phone interview Thursday that he conducted the investigation when it began in 2018.

Schwien said a Jonesboro, Arkansas, police detective alerted him that subject of a fraud investigation had fled the state from a "full U.S. extradition warrant" and might be living in Missouri under an assumed identity.

Schwien’s investigation revealed that Oglesby was, indeed, living nearby, working at the public library under an assumed identity — her daughter’s.

“She had put together a full false ID — she had gotten a Missouri ID and gotten a valid Social Security number, the whole bit,” Schwien said.

When Mountain View police arrested Oglesby in 2018, a Facebook post announcing her detention alleged that she “obtained lines of credit, obtained funds from multiple colleges, and a drivers license," which she used under her daughter's name.

“I have never seen an ID case like this at all, whether from fleeing from abuse or any other type,” Schwien said, adding that Oglesby said after she arrested that she assumed the fake persona to flee an abusive relationship.

“Usually, the ones I see, people are trying to assume an ID for financial gain, like credit card fraud,” he said.

Southwest Baptist University spokesperson Charlotte Marsch confirmed that Oglesby was a former student and said: "We were saddened to learn about the situation and cooperated fully with the investigation. Our prayers are with all involved."