Judge affirms verdict in brother’s ID theft case

Gavel (KSN File Photo)
Gavel (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) — A federal judge has upheld the convictions against a Canadian man who posed as his long-dead brother to escape child support obligations and legal difficulties stemming from drunken driving charges in his native country.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten rejected late Monday a defense effort to set aside the jury verdict in the trial of Leslie Lyle Camick, a 58-year-old telecommunications field engineer who once lived in Winfield. A federal jury in January found him guilty of aggravated identity theft, obstruction of justice, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Camick, two years older than the sibling who died at 3 1/2 months old in 1958, had tried to convince jurors and the judge that he was not trying to fraudulently deceive others in the United States by using the name of his brother, Wayne B. Camick.

Marten found there was no evidence that “Wayne Camick” is a common or frequent name and rejected the defense argument that Camick committed no identity theft by taking his brother’s name because that name is how everyone knew him in the United States.

“The defendant’s efforts at deception were long, persistent, and successful — at least for a time,” Marten wrote in his ruling. “But a successful deception is still a deception.”

Prosecutors had argued at the trial that Camick hatched a scheme in 1997 to obtain his dead sibling’s birth certificate and obtain a Canadian social insurance number, the country’s equivalent of a Social Security number, in his brother’s name. He then used those documents to establish a new identity in the United States.

The charges relate in part to Camick’s use of the false identity to obtain a U.S. patent for a locking manhole cover and for misrepresenting his identity to a Cowley County court while trying to regain ownership of a house his ex-girlfriend had bought.

The obstruction of justice charge stems from a separate federal civil rights lawsuit Camick filed against his former girlfriend, her company and several law enforcement authorities in the wake of his indictment. Jurors had agreed that his civil lawsuit had been filed as retaliation against his former girlfriend and business partner, Lynn Wattley of Winfield.

Sentencing is April 21.

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