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The Resource Center Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring | article

How a Pennsylvania Man Shared His Identity With a Convicted Murderer

It had seemed that the theft of 47-year-old Pennsylvania native John Healy’s identity couldn’t have gotten any worse when he started picking up the pieces in 2006. Healy wasn’t sure how it happened, but somehow an ambitious criminal had obtained enough personal information about him to ruin his credit score and make a mess of his credit report.

The thieves started by making a huge mess of Healy’s finances
First, the thief robbed Healy of roughly $3,500 straight from his checking account. Then, the thief used his name to take out a loan for a Cadillac Escalade. After that, the brazen criminal even took Healy’s credit to bail out a partner in crime who had been serving time in a local prison. When an armed bounty hunter showed up on Healy’s doorstep regarding further debts accrued by the imposter, John figured his identity theft drama had reached the crescendo.

How identity theft quickly went from bad to worse
In February, the man who had been living under John Healy’s alias was charged with murdering a young police officer after a million-dollar jewelry heist, and Healy’s name was spread all over the newspapers.

“It’s not so much the money. I’ve gotten that back. It’s the hassle and aggravation, over and over… seeing your name in the paper being charged with murdering a cop is pretty intense,” Healy told MSNBC in a 2007 story on the charges.

After the damage was done, there seemed to be no end in sight
Healy fought with newspapers to have his name cleared from the story, but charges, as well as proceedings, went forward with the criminal using Healy’s alias. Upon further investigation, officials found out that the convicted murderer had gone by several different aliases, the last one being Toussant Martin, a 38-year-old Philadelphia native. However, officials still referred to the unknown man as Healy since there was no proof that his previous identity wasn’t stolen as well.

Healy had to endure not only financial ruin but a tarnished name. A credit monitoring program might have alerted Healy early on about strange financial activity taking place in his name, sparing him the embarrassment and the difficult financial rebuilding that ensued.