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Federal officials convict "John Doe" of voter fraud, passport fraud, social security fraud

A foreign national — whose real name prosecutors still don’t know — was convicted Friday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore of stealing a U.S. citizen’s identity and committing voter fraud, Social Security fraud and passport fraud over the course of 20 years.

Government authorities still don’t know the true identity of the man, who was referred to only as “John Doe” during his three-day trial. The Diplomatic Security Service is seeking the public’s help in determining the man’s name before he spent two decades living under the assumed identity of an American.

The defendant used the victim’s personal information to obtain driver’s licenses and other identification cards in the summer of 1997, according to evidence presented at his trial. He then built on these documents, acquiring a U.S. passport, Social Security card and registering to vote. He most recently voted in the 2016 presidential election, officials said.

The man that he impersonated was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Federal officials believe “John Doe” may be from Antigua, Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti or Jamaica. The man speaks with an accent typical of the Caribbean Islands, according to evidence presented at the trial, and is in his early-to-mid 40s.

Prosecutors say the man whose identity Doe stole, Cheyenne Moody Davis, testified against him.

The U.S. State Department believes “John Doe” would have been between 20 and 25 years old when he left his country around June of 1997. He is 5-foot-8, has light brown eyes and possibly went by the pseudonyms “Chris” or “Ritchie.”

He faces up to 10 years imprisonment for passport fraud, five years for Social Security fraud, five years for each count of voter fraud and a mandatory two-year sentence for aggravated identity theft. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

While experts say voter fraud is exceptionally rare, it has received renewed attention in recent months. The Trump administration created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate the president’s unsubstantiated claim that millions of people voted in the 2016 election illegally.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

trichman@baltsun.com

twitter.com/TaliRichman

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