FULL STORY: Identity Theft Ruins Man’s Employment Chances

Posted by john on March 5, 2011

See the video of this news story at:


By Lindsey Reiser – Multimedia Journalist
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 – 5:39pm

A man in Virginia Beach says his identity was stolen in El Paso, and now his failed background checks have prevented him from getting a job.

John Shelby had a arrest on his record in El Paso; it was a trespassing charge that he says was dropped before it went to court. But because his name and mug shot were in the system, a suspect could easily steal his identity by using his name upon arrest. And that’s exactly what he says happened.

“He didn’t have anything but my name when he was arrested,” Shelby said. He says a man named Jason Newton used his name when Newton was arrested.

“It kind of caused an identity crises for myself a little bit,” Shelby said. Years after his criminal charge in El Paso was dropped, he applied for a job, but was turned down.

“They said at that time I was in El Paso County Jail according to their background check,” he said. After some calls, Shelby thought it was taken care of.

“The officer sent me a letter and it said I had no record on file and it was all taken care of,” he said.

Shelby tried to move on, but every time he applied for a job, he was always passed up. Frustrated, Shelby turned to the El Paso records department. But they told him to hire a lawyer if he wanted his name cleared.

“That I needed to take responsibility for my own life and stop blaming them for my misfortune,” Shelby said.

“We need to have tight safeguards on this to make sure it doesn’t ruin someone’s life,” said Shelby’s attorney in Austin, Stephen Casey. Casey says several people are at fault for what’s happened to his client. But how could this have happened? Newton and Shelby have different hair colors, eye colors, heights, and weights. Casey thinks someone just pulled up Shelby’s prior arrest and didn’t verify that Newton was telling the truth.

“Originally it was the people who put in the information for the arrest report of Jason Newton,” Casey said. “They didn’t verify the information.”

Shelby’s background checks still show those arrests and he says delivering pizzas is the only job he’s been able to get.

“I gave up on school because I figure what’s the point, I’ve never had a job I feel suitable for,” Shelby said.

We’re told Newton is serving a life sentence right now in the alleged beating of a man. Shelby has filed a lawsuit against the city of El Paso for identity theft. We called the city for comment and they said they couldn’t comment because it was a police issue. We called police and they told us they could not comment, even on their procedures upon verifying someone’s identity upon arrest, until they consulted with the city attorney’s office.

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Navy vet sues city over info on criminal record

Posted by john on March 5, 2011

Here is an article published by Mr. John Hall with the El Paso Times:

Navy vet sues city over info on criminal record

Posted: 12/14/2010 09:43:50 AM MST

The city of El Paso faces a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that alleges the Police Department mishandled records and personal information of a man who could not get jobs as a result.

According to the suit filed in district court last week, disabled Navy veteran John Shelby is suing the city for $7.5 million, alleging that he has lost or been denied several jobs that required background checks because the crimes of another man using his name as an alias were incorrectly attributed to him and placed on his criminal record.

The city attorney’s office declined to comment Monday, citing a standing policy not to discuss pending legal matters.

According to the suit, Shelby was arrested in 1991 on suspicion of criminal trespassing, which was dismissed.

The suit alleges that Jason Newton was arrested twice in 1997, once for robbery and a second time for burglary of a vehicle and evading arrest. The suit says that both times. Newton identified himself as John Shelby.

On both occasions, the El Paso Police Department released Newton despite the fact that he was wanted in connection with an attempted murder in Mc Kinney, Texas, the suit alleges. Newton is now serving a life sentence for his part in that crime, the suit says.

Shelby’s personal information, including his Social Security number and place of birth, was filed on the arrest records made under Newton’s alias of John Shelby.

Shelby’s attorney, Stephen Casey, maintains that instead of actually verifying Newton’s


identity, the police imported information from Shelby’s 1991 arrest.

Due to these mistakes, Casey argues that Newton’s criminal record was essentially attributed to Shelby and, as a result, Shelby has failed a series of background checks since 1997, making him virtually unemployable.

Shelby has made several attempts to clear his record over the years and was eventually able to get Newton’s criminal history expunged from his record in 2009.

“He’s basically had to be a pizza delivery driver or work in a seedy bar for the last de cade or more,” Casey said. “This has been the focus of his life, trying to get this corrected.”

The suit charges that Shelby’s privacy was violated and that he was defamed by Police Department records.

John Hall may be reached at jhall@elpasotimes.com; 546-6371.

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Press Release of My Case

Posted by john on December 15, 2010

Press Release Issued Yesterday 10-13-2010



El Paso, Texas – The City of El Paso received notice of a multi-million dollar lawsuit today concerning the role of the City of El Paso Police Department (CEPPD) role in the identity theft of John Shelby.
The suit alleges that in November 1997, Shelby attempted to apply for a job in El Paso but was refused because of a background check showing he was at that time incarcerated in the El Paso city jail. Shelby followed up at the jail and discovered the police actually had in custody a man named Jason Newton.
Newton had given Shelby’s name when arrested by CEPPD. Newton knew of Shelby’s name through acquaintances and only gave Shelby’s name.  Shelby got a letter from CEPPD for any future background checks which explained he was not Newton. But the mixup did not stop there and went deeper than Shelby could possibly know at that time.
Over twelve years later, after many failed jobs, firings, and multiple periods of homelessness, all due to failed background checks, an assistant district attorney for the El Paso District Court helped Shelby get
an expunction of the criminal charges for his record. When Shelby received the paperwork back from that process in January 2009, he found out the awful truth: CEPPD had caused the identity theft.
Shelby had been arrested in 1991 and the charges were dismissed; however, his information was still within CEPPD’s system. Newton had not given any other identifying information upon arrest except Shelby’s name. CEPPD had imported Shelby’s former Texas Driver’s License Number, Social
Security Number, date of birth, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and place of birth from dismissed 1991 arrest. CEPPD had also twice released Newton under Shelby’s name despite the fact that Newton was wanted at the time for capital murder and despite having falsely identified on the
arrest sheet that the information on Newton had been verified through both Federal Bureau of Investigation and Texas Department of Public Safety databases.
Shelby, a disabled veteran who is married with young children, demands justice. “My life and that of my family have been essentially destroyed because CEPPD did not do its job. They “filled in the blanks” with no concern that all of the information was wrong.” He continues, “I’ve not been able to
get any job that requires a background check and have been fired from multiple jobs because of CEPPD’s intentional substitution of my information onto Newton’s arrest record.”
His attorney, Stephen Casey, agrees. “CEPPD is privy to such private information that for them to flippantly fill in information that is wrong on its face is intolerable. Shelby and Newton are nearly seven years apart in age, six inches different in height, forty pounds different in weight, and have
different eye color, hair color, and so there is no way CEPPD verified Newton’s fingerprints in any way.” “Few people can relate to the decades long tragedy which John Shelby has had to endure simply
because CEPPD did not do its job,” Casey added. “I would hate to think that a dismissed arrest could result in having a faulty conviction for multiple felonies.”
Shelby’s suit seeks damages in excess of seven million dollars. The City of El Paso City Council voted to deny Shelby’s claim. Shelby still believes the city should compensate him for the tragedy it caused.

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Channel 8 News In Austin,Tx.

Posted by john on November 17, 2010

A special THANK YOU to Channel 8 News in Austin reporter, Sophia Wurz and to my attorney Stephen Casey, for putting this together. Great Job!

Thanks for helping get out the message of what Identity Theft can do to a person.

If you even suspect that you could be a victim of Criminal Identity Theft, check up on yourself. Check your credit reports and your own criminal record on a yearly basis at the least. Whether you are a victim of an actual Identity Thief or just the victim of a so-called “clerical error” of your local Police Department, the first step in fixing the problem is identifying it.

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My Identity Theft Story

Posted by john on July 15, 2010

My Identity Theft Story

My name is John Shelby and this is my personal Criminal Identity Theft story. It all started in Dec. of 1997. I had been hired for a really good job, but was pretty much immediately fired on my first day due to a Criminal Background Check (C.B.C.). The background check said that I was currently incarcerated in my home-town of El Paso,Tx. I was shocked and embarrassed to say the least. So I went down to the downtown precinct in El Paso to see what was going on.

Apparently, this guy had previously used my name when picked up for a robbery, had plead guilty, and had subsequently been arrested a second time for multiple felonies and had once again used my name and was (according to the fingerprint analyst) currently incarcerated. The officer then showed me the perpetrator’s mug-shot and I recognized the guy from the neighborhood. After a few phone calls, I was able to identify the guy as Jason Michael Newton. I was thanked for my time and help, then given a document stating that I had no record on file, and was sent on my way. I was a little perplexed as to how this had happened. I had been arrested myself in 1991 for a trespassing charge that was dismissed, but I had been booked and fingerprinted. So how had this mistake happened?

Well, over the next year, I had the worst time of my life. I had problems gaining employment, I eventually ended up living on the streets in Virginia Beach, Va., which was where I had previously been stationed in the Navy. Talk about rough times, but I never thought to put the two together. Eventually, by the grace of God, I was able to get off the streets and finally gain employment. Life went on, but it was always a struggle. I just never noticed the signs. I knew I had been unable to land a good job no matter my references but thought I was just unlucky. I had been denied a gun permit but was not told why, I just assumed it was due to my arrest in 1991. It wasn’t until 2004 when I had been hired for a Civil Service job, and once again immediately fired for lying on my application about my criminal record, that I realized what was happening.

Apparently, back in 1997 when I had originally gone to the El Paso police Station, that paperwork had never been filed. Mr. Newton had been released on bail under my name and had skipped bail. There were warrants for my arrest. To top it all off, the reason he had used a fake name in the first place was because he was a fugitive for a murder charge in Plano,Tx. Well, he was eventually caught and convicted. Unfortunately, that crime was also showing up on my Criminal Background Check as well as others that he had been convicted of in his own name, since I was his ALIAS. I was screwed. It all made some sense now.

That was when I started fighting. I was on the phone with the EPPD on almost a daily basis trying to get this cleared up. They at first had no idea what I was talking about since that original paperwork had never been filed, they said that basically Mr. Newton had used my ID (a lie by the way-I HAVE PROOF) so it was a case of Criminal Identity Theft. They were also adamant that there was nothing that could be done and I was just basically screwed and I would have to learn to live with it. I was furious. I started calling the news station here in Virginia Beach and was interviewed (www.goodnamegone.com Wavy 10 interview). They made a stink in Austin,Tx. for me, and the people at the State Attorney general’s office told me how to get my name cleared. But El Paso is a whole different third world country in comparison to the rest of the State of Texas, so they still refused to help. I guess they felt they were above the law.

I contacted many people over the next couple of years, politicians, Identity Theft Advocates, attorneys, you name it. With the help of these contacts, and especially the help of Brian Falco (a Criminal identity Theft expert) who was very diligent in helping me get my name cleared. Finally in Jan. of 2008, with much pressure, my record was finally expunged and the warrants for my arrest were finally dropped. Believe me, it still wasn’t over. Through the paperwork that I received after the expuncture, I started to realize all of the mistakes and cover-ups on the part of the El Paso Police Department.

It turns out that Mr. Newton had never used my ID. He had just stated my name. His whole arrest sheet was copied off of my prior arrest sheet in 1991. After his first arrest under my name, for which he plead guilty and awarded me with 2 years probation, he was given all of my personal information by the EPPD. His arrest sheet had my stats instead of his even though he was 6 years younger than me, had different colored hair and eyes, outweighed me by about 50 pounds, and was at least 5 inches taller than me. The license number that they said he had used when arrested was my license number in 1991, that had also been surrendered in another state when I had gotten a new license. They filled in my SSN on the arrest sheet. Then they gave him all of this information when he was released, so it was even easier for him to use my info the next time this career criminal was arrested.

To make it even worse. They checked the boxes on the arrest sheet that stated that they had verified his prints through FBI and DPS. Obviously untrue, since he was a fugitive with a prior record at that time. Talk about a comedy of errors on the part of these officers that made the Keystone Cops look like CSI:Miami. Because of the obvious negligence, I wasn’t even able to vote, among other Civil Rights that a Disabled Veteran should have.

So, where do I stand now? Well, due to the fact that the people in El Paso can’t seem to follow through with anything or do anything right, I still show up on many background checks. I am actually pursuing a civil suit against them. I still deliver pizzas(long story). And I am constantly active in completely clearing my name.

Seriously, if you have been a victim of any kind of Identity Theft, don’t just check your credit but also your Criminal Background. You never know, I didn’t. Even if you are just having problems getting employment, this could be the reason.

If you would like to help me out, which I really need. You can do one simple thing. Go to my website www.goodnamegone.com check out my videos and articles and make comments. That seems to be the only thing that is getting the attention of people in the right places. There is a lot to my story that has been left out that is on my website. AND if you know of any media outlets that might be interested in this bizarre story, please forward the link to them as well. Thanks!

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Good Name Gone (The Original)

Posted by john on June 23, 2010

See the Criminal Identity Theft story of John Shelby. Identity used in multiple felonies including Capitol Murder. Watch the whole story unfold. You won’t believe who the real culprit is……..

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The First Interview

Posted by john on June 23, 2010

This is the first interview I did with WAVY 10 on your side in Norfolk, Va. This, I believe, was aired in Aug. of 2006. I really didn’t understand what exactly was going on at the moment. You’ll notice that at the end of the segment, they reported that a representative for the State Attorney’s office had said my situation would be fixed immediately. That rep. informed me of the procedures to get it fixed, but for some reason the people in El Paso still refused to have any part of it for over 2 more years. Finally, after getting Identity Theft advocates, contacting FBI, NCIC, DPS, my congress-person, and my state representative, they started after 2 years to actually start fixing this. Still to this day not satisfactorily rectified.

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Good Name Gone:The Whole Story

Posted by john on June 23, 2010

Hear the whole “Identity Theft Story” from start to finish. The effects of the crime, the hardships and struggles of the victim, the “Comedy of Errors” that allowed all of this to happen. Comments are more than welcome.

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Video EXT

Posted by john on June 23, 2010

This is the extended version of “Good Name Gone:The Identity Theft Story”. Perfect for you people that want to see all the documents, view the evidence, and have about 40 minutes to spare. Comments are more than welcome.

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Squidoo Article

Posted by john on June 23, 2010

Here is an article I posted on Squidoo in Sept. of 2009.

Good Name Gone

It happened to me.

Want to hear something crazy? You are not even going to believe that this story is true, but I assure you that it is because: it happened to ME!
Now, I was told for years that I was a victim of Criminal Identity Theft. Which technically might be true….But my particular case has also been classified as a “clerical error”. I call it incompetence and negligence. Read below and tell me what you think.
In Dec. of 1997 I was called into the office at my place of employment to be terminated because of negative information showing up on my Criminal Background Check (CBC). I was told that according to their information I was currently incarcerated in the El Paso County Jail.

I went to the Downtown Police precinct to find out what was going on. They, at that time had someone incarcerated under my name. After running my fingerprints, they showed me his “mug-shot” and asked if I recognized him. I had seen him around so I made a few calls and soon identified him as Jason Newton. The Officer made a call to a deputy at the jail, who went and confronted Mr. Newton and verified his ID. The fingerprint examiner (Officer Chavez) then gave me a document that stated that according to finger-prints I had no record on file. He told me this would all be cleared up and that I should keep that paperwork to give it to my employer. He told me that Mr. Newton had used my ID upon arrest, and asked if I had ever lost my ID. I had no recollection of it at the time, so even though I thought this was an absurd mistake considering how myself and Mr. Newton looked nothing alike, I decided to accept Mr. Chavez’s apologies and go on my way glad to have cleared all this up. The weirdest part was that I had been arrested in 1991 for trespassing (which was dismissed) so they had my picture, info, and fingerprints on file.

After losing my job and for some reason not being able to find a new one I actually ended up homeless in Virginia beach, Va. about 6 weeks later. I finally resorted to taking a bartender position at a filthy nightclub and through that job I pulled myself up and actually started to scrape by in the bar scene for a few years.

In June of 2002, I was offered employment at the US POSTAL SERVICE in Suffolk, Va. It was about an hour drive away so I put my house up for sale and left my job. The day before orientation I was informed that my CBC had come back with multiple felonies. I was once again “let go” for lying on my application. After research, I found that I did have multiple felonies. They were:

1. Evading Police
2. Capital Murder
3. Armed Robbery
4. Participation in organized criminal activity.
5. Possession of Stolen Vehicle.

Just to name a few.

I was irate and embarrassed to say the least.

I got on the phone with the E.P.P.D to clear this up. Turns out that somehow the paperwork had never been filed in 1997. Mr. Newton had gotten out on bond and had skipped bail under my name. So, I had warrants out for my arrest. I went through a lengthy process to clear this up. I was apologized to, of course. I sent fingerprints again to El Paso, once it was verified that it wasn’t me then I was told that all of Mr. Newton’ crimes were now attached to my CBC since I was his ALIAS, and that there was nothing that I could do about it and that he was currently serving a life sentence for Capital Murder. My life was basically ruined.

After a couple of years of depression and self-pity, I decided to FIGHT.

I made a stink on my local news in Aug. of 04, which afterwards I was told that all would be rectified. Lied to again. I was once again told that nothing could actually be done. In 05 I finally enlisted the help of Mr. Falco, known to be the expert in CriminalIdentity Theft for the organization I.T.R.C. (Identity Theft Resource Center) out of San Diego, Ca. He worked my case for over 2 years, having as much trouble with Texas and the EPPD as I had had. Finally after Brian teamed up with Ms. Pierce of VICARS of Tx. We were able to put enough pressure on El Paso to get judge to sign a court order to expunge my record and drop the warrant for my arrest in Jan. of 2008 .I finally received my copy of the expongement order in Jan. of 2009.If only that was the end of it.

Through the expongement process, I was able to obtain all of my records. Through investigating these papers I found many descrepencies.

1. Mr. Newton had never used my ID. The TX.DL# listed on his arrest sheet, was my license surrendered in 1992 in the State of Va. But it was the DL# I HAD when I was arrested in El Paso in 1991.
2. During a previous arrest on Mr. Newton’s record he was listed as 6″4″ 205lbs. with green eyes and brown hair. But on his arrest sheet under my name was listed as 5’11” and 155lbs. (my height and weight) with blue eyes and brown hair.
3. Other info such as my place of birth and SSN were all filled in with my information on his arrest sheet. When all he knew going in there was my name.
4. Mr. Newton was a fugitive for attempted murder while he was incarcerated under my name and even though I Identified him, he was still released under my name and subsequently skipped bail.
5. An officer from the EPPD testified in his Murder case in 1998 that Mr. Newton had used a false name and had skipped bail. But I still had warrants and those charges until 2008.

While through the help of Mr. Falco and VICARS of Texas, I have been able to legally clear my name. There are years of my life past and future that are lost due to the incompetence of the EPPD. Years of embarrassment and depression. Years of not being able to find decent employment. Years of vindictive people using my CBC against me. Wasn’t legally able to vote. Wasn’t legally allowed to bear arms. I was lied to and deceived many times. Years of the stress of trying to get my name clear. Heck, I even got a divorce due to the fact that I couldn’t “provide”. To top it all off, my resume is terrible for the last 12 years.

These are the reasons that this is not over and that I intend to civilly sue for damages. I have the full right to under Federal Law section 1983. I DESERVE some sort of payback and vindication. But here’s the deal with that. I can’t get anyone to take my case. I live in Va. and the case would have to be in Texas. I can’t find a local attorney to take the case because of the cost of travel, no license to practice law in Tx., and other excuses. Texas attorneys don’t really want to deal with me because I am a Va. resident and it “complicates things”. I have sent my story to an e-mail list of over 300 Federal Attorneys, no replies. My State Reps and Congress Representatives seem sympathetic but offer no help, but they wish me well.

My case-workers wish to cooperate in any way that might help my cause. They believe that this case could be instrumental in helping to get legislation passed that will protect ID theft victims from having to go through the ordeal that I have. While there are similar cases to mine out there my comedy of errors in their opinions is the worst case of record.
I have a more detailed account of this travesty posted under “good name gone” at www.thestorytellerblog.com if you would like to know more about how this all came to pass.
If you have any opinions, advice, or questions please comment below. I can also be reached at professorx@piranhajohnssite,com

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