Bloomberg Journalist: Illegal Alien Stole Identity, ‘Ruined My Financial Life’

credit cards. AP PhotoElise Amendola
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

In one of his latest pieces for Bloomberg News, journalist Drew Armstrong details how an illegal alien living in Florida “destroyed” his identity and financial history.

Armstrong writes that an illegal alien named Marlen Manukyan, likely from Russia, had been living in Florida when he stole his identity, opened bank accounts in his name, opened a business in his name, sold a vehicle under his identity, registered a Miami address in his name, and eventually, wrecked his credit:

My identity was stolen in 2013, though I didn’t find out until later. It started in Florida—which has more than its fair share of scams—but our economy of convenience is such that it really could have happened anywhere. The details of the theft are laid out in a federal indictment against a man named Marlen Manukyan. Using a fake driver’s license—my name, his photo—he went from bank to bank over three days in August that year setting up accounts at TD BankBank of America, and Wells Fargo. He registered a business with the Florida Department of State and opened another Wells Fargo account for his—well, I guess “our”—new company. He told the bank he was in auto sales. [Emphasis added]

A few days afterward, over Craigslist, he sold an RV to two people in Sugar Land, Texas. The Texans wired $39,960 to him. Four days later he wired their money to Russia. The Texans never got their RV. The Sunny Isles Beach police called me a few months later. They wanted to know if I’d ever lived in Florida—I hadn’t—and told me they were investigating a case of identity theft. [Emphasis added]

Manukyan’s wreckage, however, began to intrude into my financial life: For example, I was denied a new credit card. I began to realize how bad it was when my wife and I went to a Wells Fargo to open a joint account. “Welcome back, Mr. Armstrong. I see you already have several accounts with us,” the teller said. I’d never set foot inside a Wells Fargo. [Emphasis added]

Armstrong said he would regularly be pulled aside at airports and questioned by Homeland Security agents and, in one case, was flagged down by agents just as he was about to board a flight.

The illegal alien, Armstrong writes, had “destroyed” his credit and put his “profile on a security watchlist somewhere in the government.”

Armstrong said it was “impossible” for him to obtain a new credit card and the situation got even worse when he and his wife went to apply for a mortgage. Effectively, the mortgage agent told Armstrong that his name and his financial history should not be associated with the loan.

“It shut me out of the most basic parts of the consumer-financial system,” Armstrong writes of his case.

Armstrong writes that it took him six years to get his financial records cleaned up from the stolen identity case at the hands of Manukyan. The illegal alien, rather than going to trial, took a plea deal and spent less than two years in prison before he was released and deported by federal immigration officials, according to Armstrong.

A 2018 investigation by the Immigration and Reform Law Institute (IRLI) discovered that there have been potentially 39 million cases between 2012 to 2016 wherein American citizens have had their identities stolen by illegal aliens.

The discovery was made after IRLI investigators reviewed W-2 tax forms where names on the financial records did not match their corresponding Social Security records.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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