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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

When Sibling Rivalry Goes Too Far: How One Sister Involved Family Members in Her Crimes

When the family gets together over the holidays, there's bound to be a few playful antics between siblings that might make tensions rise. Teasing among families and harmless pranks are hardly anything that would tear a clan apart, but when these games result in identity theft, the joke has gone to far.

The crime that spun her out of control
Crystal Makula had a long history of rabble-rousing with her siblings. In 2001, Crystal and her twin sister Cynthia were taking a flight to Shanghai from San Francisco for an international modeling show. The duo were less than ideal passengers, as they proceeded to get intoxicated throughout the flight, smoke cigarettes in the airplane bathroom and even assaulted two flight attendants. Their conduct forced the flight to land before they even got the opportunity to cross the Pacific, stranding all 231 passengers in Anchorage, Alaska, instead of the Far East.

Instead of learning from mistakes, she decided to make new ones
After this incident, it was a downhill spiral for Crystal, who was put on two years' probation after pleading guilty to charges pressed by the airline. Once her probation was up, Crystal found herself in court frequently over the next decade for charges as varied as shoplifting and drug trafficking. Instead of rising from the ashes, this event inspired Crystal to explore whole new ways to get her family in on her mistakes.

This time, she makes a different sister her victim
In October 2012, Crystal involved another sibling in her web of crimes, this time, stealing her sister Angela's identity. Angela Makula was visiting her parent's home in Traverse City, Michigan, where Crystal had been staying for some time. Angela's license went missing during the visit, and after informing the police, investigators discovered that Crystal had been using it to pose as Angela and to acquire prescription drugs.

This time around, rather than being an accomplice, one of Crystal's siblings was actually victimized by her criminal activity. Had Angela not caught on to Crystal's conduct earlier, she could have potentially done a lot of damage Angela's credit score.