Orignally published on 2021-12-08 10:27:00 by www.marketwatch.com
Age may be just a number, but one Missouri woman is about to lose a few of those years behind bars.
Laura Oglesby, 48, has pleaded guilty to stealing her estranged daughter’s identity and using it to run up nearly $20,000 in student debt so she could go back to college and live as a woman half her age.
Oglesby had been on the run from fraud charges in Arkansas when she turned up in Mountain View, Mo. in 2016 with her 24-year-old daughter, Lauren Asleigh Hays’ birth certificate, which she used to get a Social Security card and driver’s license, according to police.
“Oglesby got a job at a local public library reading stories to kids, and lived her life in the town pretending to be a 24-year-old woman.”
The following year, Oglesby began attending classes at Southwest Baptist University in Mountain View, paying for it with around $17,000 in federal student loans and grants she received using Hays’ identity.
“We were saddened to hear about this situation and cooperated fully with the investigation,” said a spokeswoman for the university. “Our prayers are with all involved.”
Oglesby also got a job at a local public library reading stories to kids and lived her life in the town pretending to be a 24-year-old woman, police said.
Past came back to haunt her
In 2018, detectives in Mountain View caught wind of the situation after receiving a call from authorities in Jonesboro, Ark. saying Oglesby was wanted there on financial fraud charges and was believed to be living in southern Missouri.
A records search revealed that someone had recently gotten a driver’s license and Social Security card issued in Oglesby’s daughter’s name in Missouri.
Detectives looked at the photo on the driver’s license and, while it looked quite similar to Hays, it appeared to be a woman significantly older than 24, police said at the time, according to KY3-TV.
“She faces up to five years in prison and will have to pay back $17, 521 in restitution to the university, plus restitution to her daughter.”
On Monday, Oglesby pleaded guilty to one count of furnishing false information to the Social Security Administration. She faces up to five years in prison and will have to pay back $17, 521 in restitution to the university as well as restitution to her daughter.
An attorney for Oglesby didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
Oglesby had been on the run from Arkansas police for allegedly stealing $28,000 from an auto shop where she briefly worked in 2014, by having six credit cards fraudulently issued to her from company accounts.
She pleaded guilty to charges in that case earlier this year.