Man faces multiple felonies for identity theft
A former resident of New Jersey is being held on $100,000 bail after he was charged with eight felonies based on an accusation that he had stolen the information of a South Carolina man and used it to obtain a driver’s license and register two vehicles in Vermont in 2010.
Wilbur A. Figueroa, 47, was arraigned in Bennington criminal court on Friday on four felony counts of forgery, a felony count of false personation, a felony count of identity theft and two felony counts of using forged papers to obtain vehicle titles.
Figueroa, who pleaded innocent to all the charges, was also charged with four misdemeanor counts of making a false statement on an application for state Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork and four misdemeanor counts of using a false name on an application for state Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork.
Judge Cortland Corsones said that when setting Figueora’s bail, one factor he considered was that Figueroa could be sentenced to almost 80 years if he was convicted of all 16 charges he faces.
Robert Plunkett, deputy state’s attorney for Bennington County, said the reason Figueroa hadn’t been prosecuted despite the fact that the investigation was done in 2010 was that Figueroa had spent the last two years in prison in New Jersey and had only recently been released to face the pending charges in Vermont.
In an affidavit, Lt. Mary McIntyre, an investigator for the Department of Motor Vehicles, said she had spoken with Reinaldo Callejo Jr., who was 46 at the time, of South Carolina. Callejo said Figueroa, whose legal address was Perth Amboy, N.J., at the time, was a childhood friend but he said that Figueroa told him that he planned to open bank accounts under the name of a woman, Cindy Burns, whom both men knew. The affidavit gave no information about Burns’ age but said she also lived in South Carolina.
“Callejo explained Figueroa had previously told him he was having financial difficulty; thus, Callejo was concerned for Burns as she seemed like a good person, so he hated the thought of the damage Figueroa could do to her financially,” McIntyre said.
According to the affidavit, Callejo said when he spoke to Burns, she told him that she had seen a Vermont license with Figueroa’s picture but Callejo’s name. Burns said she “thought (Callejo) was okay with it” but he said that he didn’t know about the license and “immediately became concerned with his credit,” McIntyre said.
During her investigation, McIntyre said she learned that Figueroa had obtained a driver’s license, registration and title documents, among other records, for a 1997 Lincoln Town Car, using Callejo’s name.
McIntyre said the records showed “Callejo” living in Pownal using two addresses but one address did not exist and the second was for an empty house.
Figueroa was arrested in Woodbridge, N.J., on May 19, 2010. McIntyre said police told her Figueroa was using a Vermont license with Callejo’s name but they learned he was using a false name. An officer entered a holding cell and yelled out “Figueroa” and Figueroa responded, then admitted it was his real name, police said.
Figueroa also has a criminal record in Florida, California and New York for crimes involving drugs, thefts and possession of guns, Plunkett said during Figueroa’s arraignment.
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