COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stealing the identity of a dead baby.
Ava Misseldine, 49, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to 16 counts of wire and passport fraud, according to Kenneth Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. Misseldine was arrested in June after she used an infant’s identity to obtain a passport, student pilot license, flight attendant job, admission to Ohio State University and pandemic relief loans.
As part of her plea, Misseldine will pay more than $1.5 million in restitution and forfeit her Utah home and profits from the sale of her Michigan home, said Parker. Both were purchased with money from fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020.
Parker said Misseldine stole the identity of a baby that died in 1979 and is buried in a Columbus cemetery. She used it to apply for an Ohio ID, social security card and driver’s license in 2003, and she obtained a pilot certificate and U.S. passport in 2007. She was employed under the false identity for JetSelect.
Misseldine used both the false identity and her real name to obtain about $1.5 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020, court documents show. The applications cite her former bakeries Sugar Inc. Cupcakes and Tea Salon in Dublin and Koko Tea Salon and Bakery in New Albany and Easton.
Parker said wire fraud is punishable by up to 30 years and passport fraud by up to 10 years.