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Identity fraud in Latin America continues to evolve

May 1, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

dominican republic flag-thumb-175x116-6120

An interesting story by Ben Badler about identity fraud in Latin America. Specifically, the Dominican Republic.

Players used to forge documents, but they started to get caught.  Then they’d lie about their very identity, assuming that of an entirely different person, but then they’d get caught by DNA testing.  Now they’re beating DNA testing by having entire families assume new identities:

So in addition to the player switching identities with a younger male, the mother of the player and the mother of the younger male also swap identities. When the player and his mother take a DNA test, they will match, of course. If the father is estranged from the mother and they were never married, the fathers don’t even need to swap identities because the player already has his mother’s surname. The family that gives up its identity is compensated for its cooperation.

At that point it takes detective work. Which is hard, because once you get into that it’s (a) expensive and difficuly; and (b) once again prone to having people lie and/or become casually complicit in the deception.

A good read about a tricky problem.

  1. Ben - May 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    This is pretty common in a lot of other places too. A friend of mine is having a really hard time getting her husband a green card (he’s Yemeni) because there’s such rampant identity fraud issues in Yemen that the US embassy there now requires DNA testing. But of course the US embassy has been shut down for quite some time (may be reopen now) because of the instability there.
    The “I’m gonna fake a whole family” thing is an interesting twist though.

  2. bjavie - May 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I am not trying to offer any sort of solution, just raise the proposition.

    I am not sure this is fair to any team given the complexities of the deception, but is there a way to hold the MLB team accountable, anyone think? I don’t konw, force teams to complete their due diligence, or something, given these payers are not drafted, but rather bought.

    As far as I know, teams are not held accountable if a player test positive for PED’s, and if not, then why would they be held accountable for someone falsifying who they are.

    Again, not trying to say that is what should be done, but clearly this is pretty common practice and something should be done to try and help curb the practice. Then again, maybe it’s not a big deal in the end and only hurts the team which should have done their due diligence in the first place. I don’t konw.

  3. angrycorgi - May 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Badler also had an article on Jairo Beras too, where an “unnamed international scouting director” yankees cited that Texas ought to be punished for finding out through DNA testing that Beras was old enough to sign before the new international rules fell into place. Of course, since then, Texas has shown evidence that Yankee scouts already knew the same thing, and one of them had published an article discussing it some time before the signing. I’m sure the “unnamed director” would be less inclined to make stupid comments, had his organization already been outted as well.

    • brewcrewfan54 - May 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      The DR is a super poor country so as long as the only people these guys commiting identity changes, its not theft since all seem to be willing participants, it really doesn’t bother me. If MLB wants to stop it from happening they need to ban the next guy caught for life. The current punishments, which are basically zero, are not much of a deterent to any of these guys.

  4. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    I find it hard to believe that someone would lie to conceal there age given that the rewards are untold millions(Albert Pujols)

    • Reflex - May 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      Is slander something your parents taught you was ok to do?

      • Pierre Cruzatte - May 1, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        I am not responsible for that thumbs down, but I REALLY hope it’s because you confused slander with libel.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 1, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        He has a hard on for all things Cardinals related. La Russa, Pujols, McGwire, Molina, etc..
        You come to expect it.
        DISCLAIMER: Craig…when I use the words “come to expect it” I am NOT referring to you this time.

      • Reflex - May 2, 2012 at 12:35 AM

        Libel is fine as well. ;)

        Just hate seeing actual lies being thrown at people with zero evidence. All I can ever think is “And how would you like it if someone went and spread lies online about how you lied about your credentials to get your job?”

  5. jwbiii - May 1, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    In related news, Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly dba Leo Nunez, will serve an eight week suspension after his arrival in the U.S.
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/01/2776325/juan-carlos-oviedos-mlb-ban-will.html

  6. mississippimusicman - May 1, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    One way MLB could put a stop to all of this is to institute a lifetime ban for players who use false identities or enter the country illegally.

  7. indaburg - May 1, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    As an American of Dominican descent, I have to ask: why did you put a picture of a Dominican flag for this story, Craig? Identiity theft (for different reasons than MLB) runs rampant in many countries, including ours.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      Inda: Don’t go there. He will go all crazy town on you.
      Craig…I am sure Indaburg didn’t mean anything by it.

      • indaburg - May 1, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        I can take it, stlouis.

        I should correct myself–I meant identity fraud. The article being referred to even states that this is happening in other countries: “not just in the Dominican Republic but throughout Latin America.”

  8. Mr. Wright 212 - May 1, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Pujols has to be about 38.

  9. phillyphan83 - May 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Craig Calcaterra, another NBC blogger who can’t proof-read a sub-200 word story. This place is loaded with amateur writers. I think it’s time I apply for a job. It’s not that hard to re-read what you write before posting it, ESPECIALLY when it takes 60 seconds to read the whole thing! I can’t believe you amateurs get paid for this crap.

    • brewcrewfan54 - May 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      It’s a blog man, calm down.

    • Ben - May 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      Proofread is the more generally accepted spelling of the word, maybe you should proofread your own work next time?

      Hey, I can be nitpicky too! This is fun.

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