Photo: Candida Gutierrez had identity stolen, fought 12 years for justice
A Texas elementary school teacher says her life was turned upside down when someone stole her identity then claimed they were the victim.
More than a decade ago, Candida Gutierrez, now 32, was turned down for a mortgage. As she looked into why, she realized her identity had been stolen.
When she tried to clear things up and even get a new Social Security number, however, she discovered that the woman who had stolen her identity had also filed for a new SSN, claiming to be Gutierrez.
In a shocking twist, Gutierrez was determined to be the fraud and the other woman, later identified as undocumented immigrant Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, was granted the new number. The real Gutierrez was even forced to use a special identification number to file federal taxes, a number usually given to undocumented immigrants.
Now, roughly 12 years later, Gutierrez is finally seeing the woman who stole her life admit to what she did. The punishment however, does not seem to fit the crime.
On Monday, Cardona-Gonzalez pled guilty to a lesser charge of possessing fraudulent identification documents, with her lawyer saying she did not intend to harm Gutierrez and only “wanted to give her children a better life
For the deal she made with prosecutors, the Mexican national only faces a maximum of 18 months in jail, a deal Gutierrez is less than happy with.
Cardona-Gonzalez will face sentencing on March 25, and Gutierrez has already confirmed she will be there.
During the time, Cardona-Gonzalez was using Gutierrez’s identity she opened bank and credit cards accounts, to get a driver’s license, a job, and a mortgage. She also used it to go on food stamps and receive medical care during the pregnancy and birth of her two children.
When Gutierrez first tried to take back her identity, Cardona-Gonzalez claimed she was the real Gutierrez and that the elementary school teacher stole her identity.