A woman from Mountain View, Missouri, has been found guilty of Social Security fraud after stealing her estranged daughter’s information to get into a university and secure financial aid.
The New York Times reported that Laura Oglesby, 48, had fooled everyone into thinking that she was a 20-year-old college undergraduate for two years. Mountain View Police Chief Jamie Perkins explained that Oglesby used her daughter’s name and even had romantic relationships with young men who believed she was her daughter’s age.
“Everybody believed it. She even had boyfriends that believed that she was that age: 22 years old,” Perkins said.
On Monday, US Chief Magistrate Judge David Rush ruled that Oglesby intentionally submitted false information to the Social Security Administration.
She admitted to fraudulently applying for a Social Security card and obtaining a driver’s license in 2016 using her daughter’s information. One year later, Oglesby used that Social Security card to enroll at a university (which court documents have not named) and received $9,400 in federal loans, $5,920 in Pell Grants, $337 for textbooks, and $1,863 for other expenses.
In a plea agreement, the court ruled that the defendant must pay back $17,521 to the university. Oglesby must pay restitution to her estranged daughter.
Neither Oglesby nor her legal representatives have commented on the court ruling. She is expected to serve up to five years in prison.
Oglesby’s story first made headlines in August 2018 after authorities in Arkansas contacted the Mountain View Police Department.
They were looking for Oglesby after determining that she had stolen her daughter’s identity and had embezzled more than $25,000. Mountain View police conducted an investigation and found Oglesby working in a city library.
“She was just running because she was in a domestic violence relationship, and she’d been running for years,” recounted Chief Perkins. “We don’t know her life story outside of what she told us, but we know what happened here.”