Couple charged with forgery after Texas woman reports ID theft

Published 7:08 am Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Austin husband and wife face felony forgery charges after a Texas woman reported that the wife had been using her ID to work at Quality Pork Processors — all while amassing more than $4,000 in unpaid taxes.

Eleazar Cruz-Chavez, 34, faces two counts of aggravated forgery, and her husband, Gumaro Serrano-Vazquez, 42, also faces one count.

The two appeared in court Monday, with bail for each being set at $100,000, or $20,000 with conditions. They are being held in Mower County custody.

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According to a court complaint, a woman in Plainview, Texas, called Austin police on July 20 to report identity theft. She said she had received a letter from the IRS saying she owed $4,172 in taxes from income earned at QPP.

The woman had filed a theft report locally in 2007, the same year someone under her identity was hired at QPP, according to court records.

Austin police obtained a number of documents from QPP and interviewed Cruz-Chavez, who initially claimed to be the Texas woman. After further questioning, she admitted she was using the identify because she was in the country illegally from Mexico, according to the complaint.

Cruz-Chavez told police she bought a birth certificate and Social Security card for $900, which she used to get Minnesota identification and to gain employment.

She added that she had been receiving tax forms but hadn’t paid them since 2007.

Cruz-Chavez said she had lived at 701 Third St. N.W. since moving to Austin with her husband, who was also in the U.S. illegally and using an alias to work at QPP, she said.

During a search of the home, police arrested Serrano-Vazquez, who admitted to using an alias.

A number of fraudulent pay stubs, bills and tax documents were discovered at the residence.

The two are scheduled to return to court on Sept. 3.