Man accused of identity theft

RACINE — A man has been accused of living and working in Racine for years under a stolen identity.

The man, charged as John Doe and identified as Fausto Varela, 51, of Racine, allegedly used the name, birthdate and Social Security number of a like-named man living in Southern California, according to his criminal complaint.

Online court records indicate that Doe has been living in Racine under the Varela name since at least 1999.

While asking Racine County Circuit Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch to set a signature bond during Doe’s initial appearance, defense attorney Domingo Cruz noted that Doe has three children and has worked at the Racine Country Club, 2801 Northwestern Ave., as a cook for eight years.

“I’ve represented the defendant in the past. As a client, he has always been very cooperative and appeared for court proceedings,” Cruz said.

Varela reportedly lodged two complaints, in 2006 and 2013, with the Riverside County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department about someone in the Racine area using his identity, but the first complaint was put on hold for lack of documents positively identifying the California victim.

Although investigators from the Racine Police Department received the second complaint in March 2013 and interviewed Doe that July, they were unable to take the investigation any further without documents from the victim, according to the complaint.

Those documents finally came last week and Doe was arrested at the Racine Country Club on three outstanding warrants Thursday.

In Doe’s wallet, investigators found four Wisconsin driver’s licenses in Varela’s name going back to 2000, a Permanent Resident Card with the name Fausto Varela-Olmeda with a “highly suspect” backing, and the original Social Security card issued under the name Fausto Varela, the complaint states.

Varela reported that his wallet had been stolen many years ago, possibly with his original Social Security card.

Police also reportedly found the identification cards of two children from Anaheim, Calif., in Doe’s wallet.

Investigators from California and Racine found evidence of various aliases tied to Doe, including the name Ignacio Padilla Carrera and the surname Delarosa, according to the complaint.

In both interactions with police in July and last week, Doe reportedly asserted that he was the real Varela.

Rudebusch set a $1,000 cash bond for Doe’s release Monday.

Doe was charged with one count of felony personal identification theft-financial gain, a class H felony punishable by up to six years in custody and a $10,000 fine.

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