Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Couple accused of stealing IDs of son, daughter

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - A Butler County couple is accused of stealing the identities of two unusual victims: their 3-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter.

Elizabeth Darlene O'Leary and her husband, Brian Alan O'Leary, gave their daughter and son names identical to their own. Then the Madison Township couple obtained Social Security numbers for the children - and used those numbers to open bank accounts, cash checks and conduct other business, Assistant Prosecutor Lee Oldendick said Tuesday.

Each of the parents faces two felony charges: tampering with records and identity fraud. They were indicted on those charges last week and have had their initial court appearances. In addition, Brian O'Leary was indicted last week on eight counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. Police found alleged child pornography on his computer while they were investigating the fraud allegations, the Butler County Sheriff's Office said.

The probe began in May, when a Warren County business detained Darlene O'Leary as she allegedly attempted to pass a forged check. The business summoned the sheriff's office, Detective Monte Mayer said.

Detective Melina Smith filed a report saying her investigation unearthed Ohio identification cards containing fictitious information - and that one suspect stated "that numerous bank checking accounts were opened by (the suspects) using the forged Ohio identification cards."

Authorities did not know how much money might have been involved in the transactions.


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