DOJ: Fresno man pleads guilty to stealing dead boy’s identity

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – A man from Fresno who was arrested on suspicion of passport fraud by assuming the identity of a dead four-year-old has pleaded guilty, according to the Department of Justice.

In 1984, court documents say 79-year-old Kenneth Laitman aka John Rodman of Fresno, left his job as a stockbroker in New York and moved to California where he identified as John Rodman and worked at an endoscopy practice.

The actual John Rodman died in 1950 at the age of four.

The DOJ says Laitman somehow obtained various forms of identification, worked different jobs, opened bank accounts, received government benefits, and took other actions while falsely using Rodman’s identity. This also included a U.S. Passport that he obtained in 2004 and used to travel overseas on multiple occasions – he was convicted of attempting to renew that passport.

79-year-old Kenneth Laitman pleaded guilty on Monday to passport fraud, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Laitman is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29, 2024. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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