DENVER – A Denver man who lived under a false identity for 34 years was sentenced by the U.S. District Court on Friday.
James Thompson will serve 30 months in federal prison for the misuse of a Social Security number according to the U.S. Attorney and Social Security Office of the Inspector General.
According to court documents and facts presented at sentencing, Thompson was a drug dealer in Oklahoma City in the 1980s and he allowed one of his customers to buy drugs in exchange for their identification documents.
Shortly after that, Thompson moved to Colorado and by 1984 he was living under his former customer’s name. Thompson was convicted of several felonies under his false identity, including second-degree murder and numerous serious drug felonies.
In 2015, while on supervised release for a federal drug conviction, Thompson applied for Social Security benefits under his false name and was approved. Not long after this, the former customer tried to apply for benefits in Oklahoma but was told he could not because someone was already receiving benefits in his name in Colorado.
The man was then forced to spend more than two years proving his true identity. During this time span, he was homeless and suffered substantial financial hardships.
After serving his 30 months, Thompson will spend three years on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $930.20 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.
Thompson is free on bond and will report to a Bureau of Prisons facility once it is designated.
The defendant was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver in July 2018, pled guilty in November and was sentenced February 15th, 2019.