A Phoenix man is facing charges after he was accused of stealing the identity of a child that died more than three decades ago.
The paper trail of Jeremiah Elton Ash’s deception began in 2012 when Ash filed paperwork at the Tempe Motor Vehicle Division offices, police said. He allegedly used a Virginia birth certificate and a Florida driver’s license under the name of Michael Anthony Lewis II.
In 2014, Ash received a motorcycle license from the Tempe MVD under the name Michael Lewis.
Ash continued his double life and filed paperwork under the false guise for five years, police said.
It wasn’t until earlier this month that Ash’s alleged scheme came to a screeching halt.
Ash’s request for a duplicate Social Security card was flagged fraudulent by officials at the Social Security Administration, according to court documents.
The reason for the suspicion: the Social Security number that Lewis reportedly used belonged to a small child who died in 1982. The 10-month-old was a victim of a homicide.
A subsequent investigation using facial recognition technology from Ash’s false driver’s license identified the identity thief, police said.
After he was arrested, police said he still maintained his name was Michael Anthony Lewis II, even after being shown the death certificate of the boy.
He faces 11 counts related to identity theft and forgery.
Ash also has a warrant out of Michigan for a family offense.
His bond was set at $5,000.