Crime

Man Arrested For Fraud After Dead Child Cast Ballot

| by Brendan Kelly

Police arrested a Wisconsin man for 30 years of identity theft after a child who died nearly 60 years ago cast a ballot in a Cudahy polling booth.

Police say David Erchul, 67, stole the identity of a child with the initials J.B. who died in 1957 at the age of 12, WITI reports.

Considering J.B. had passed away nearly 60 years ago, officials were shocked to see that they had cast a ballot during the presidential primary election.

The odd finding led officials to investigate, which showed that J.B. has been collecting government benefits, including food stamps, medicaid and medicare, for years. Erchul also obtained a social security card, a bank account and several driver's licenses under the deceased child's name.

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Documents show that Erchul has been using J.B.'s identity since 1985 to vote and to collect benefits, WDJT reports. Officials say Erchul voted twice in the presidential primary -- once in his name and once in J.B.'s name.

It is unclear how much Erchul has collected in benefits since 1985, or how he obtained J.B.'s information.

Erchul's neighbors were shocked to learn he had been leading a double life for more than 30 years.

"[He is a] normal neighbor," one neighbor told WITI. "Never seemed like anything out of the ordinary."

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"He voted in his name," another neighbor said. "Social security fraud. I had no idea. I know his son well, but I have no idea."

Erchul is not yet scheduled to appear in court, but if convicted, he faces up to 50 years in prison.

Erchul has an 11-count federal indictment, which includes charges of fraud and swindling, as well as theft of public money, property and records, WDJT reports.

Sources: WITIWDJT / Photo Credit: WITI

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