Man Serves Jail Time After Coworker Steals His Identity For 35 Years

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stolen identity
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A man finally gets justice after his coworker stole his identity for 35 years and caused him to spend over a year in jail.

Coworker steals man’s identity and lands him in a psychiatric facility

William Donald Woods certainly rues the day he met Matthew David Keirans in 1988, when they began working together at a local hot dog joint in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Woods was a transplant from Kentucky, who was around the same age as Keirans, then in his early twenties. Keirans was on his own in the state after running away from his adoptive parent’s home as a teenager.

While it is unclear how long the two worked together, or if they were friends outside of work, it was during this time that Keirans managed to get his hands on Woods’ Social Security number.

That same year, Keirans ceased to use his own identity and embarked on a new life as William Donald Woods. Over time, he managed to collect official documentation, including driving licenses and Social Security cards that had Woods’ actual Social Security details.

According to court documents, he was even able to procure a legitimate copy of Woods’ birth certificate directly from Kentucky, after conducting genealogical research via Ancestry.com.

By 1994, he married a woman and started a family with her using Woods’ name. He went on to use the identity to set up a nice life for himself, which included a lucrative position the IT division at the University of Iowa Hospital, where he raked in around $140,000 a year.

Despite a solid income, Keirans racked up $300,000 in loans from various credit unions and national banks by 2022. In contrast, the genuine William Woods faced harder times, living a less-than suburban life on the streets of Los Angeles.

It wasn’t until 2019 that he figured out someone had access to his identity, when he discovered $130,000 in loans had been procured in his name. When he decided to attempt to address the identity theft, his life actually got worse.

Woods went to Los Angeles bank branch and reported the fraudulent activity. He attempted to close the accounts, and was able to produce a Social Security card and California state ID proving his identity.

However, Woods was unable to answer the security prompts linked to the accounts since they had been established by Keirans. The bank called up the LAPD, and when they contacted Keirans, he faxed over documents appearing to validate his identity as Woods.

However, one glaring discrepancy was noted – his Wisconsin driver’s license displayed his middle name as David, not Donald as is Woods actual middle name.

Despite having the wrong middle name, Keirans persuaded the detective that David was a middle name he occasionally used.

Things got worse for the real Woods in October 2019, when he was arrested on two felony charges of stealing his own identity. Insanely, the prosecution alleged that his real name was a misspelled variant of Matthew Keirans, despite his objections.

He was held in jail for 428 days, when a judge decided that he unfit to stand trial, as he refused to accept the reality of what the court believed was his actual identity. From there he was involuntarily sent to a psychiatric hospital and psychotropic for 147 days.

Finally on March 17, 2021, Woods a plea of no contest to the felony charges and received a sentence that accounted for the time he’d already served.

He was ordered by the court to use his alleged real name, Keirans, but refused and immediately launched his own investigation into the man who had stolen his identity.

Man hunts down coworker who stole his identity

It wasn’t until January 2023, that Woods was able to locate his doppelganger and contacted his place of employment, who in turn, called the local police.

According to People, Keirans told investigators that Woods was “crazy” and “should be locked up,” while calling the LAPD and LA district attorney’s office “numerous times” about Woods.

His decades-long scheme was foiled by DNA evidence, which found that he was not related to the man he claimed to be his father, who is in fact one of Wood’s parents.

Keirans pleaded guilty and now awaits sentencing, with prosecutors suggesting he might receive a jail term ranging from as little as two years to a substantial 32 years for the longstanding deception. He also faces the possibility of a hefty fine of $1.25 million.

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