2-year term for ID theft


POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A federal judge ordered a two-year prison term yesterday for a woman who assumed another person's identity so she could work in Hawaii to send money to her family in the Philippines.

Marrieta Calamayan, 36, was sentenced for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

However, the judge credited her with the eight months she has already been in custody, so Calamayan has less than 16 more months left on her sentence.

She must also repay the state $4,108 in unemployment benefits she received in 2004 and 2005 after the restaurant where she worked as a waitress shut down.

Calamayan entered the country, lived and worked on Maui, and paid state and federal taxes since 1996 as Julie Reyes Fernandez, a person who was previously granted entry in the United States from the Philippines. Fernandez was living on the mainland and had no idea Calamayan had assumed her identity.

Calamayan bought the identity through a fraud ring without knowing the woman in question, officials said.

A tip led federal investigators to Calamayan, who was indicted last August by a federal grand jury.

When she pleaded guilty last September, Calamayan said she came here for a better life.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said it appears Calamayan's family selected her to come to Hawaii to send money home.

Ironically, Calamayan's parents and brother later entered the country legally.

The government said Calamayan provided information about another person in Hawaii who entered the country illegally. That other person has since been deported.