I.D. Thief Gets Married Using Fake Name

Wednesday, Dec 30, 2009  |  Updated 6:15 PM EDT
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I.D. Thief Gets Married Using Fake Name

Shadowy bride was using other woman's identity for at least 17 years.

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A Manhattan medical assistant has admitted stealing a stranger's identity to claim tax refunds, get a passport and even get married in the other woman's name.

Aracelis Cherico pleaded guilty Wednesday to identity theft in a scheme that has kept her victim from getting a marriage license.

Cherico admitted she used Sara Benitez' particulars for years, including when Cherico wed in 1992. In recent years, Cherico filed tax returns in Benitez' name to get more than $2,600 in refunds.

It's unclear how she got Benitez' information. Prosecutors say the real Benitez was denied a marriage license because of the scam.

The 46-year-old Cherico is expected to be sentenced to 60 days in prison and to help clear Benitez' name.

Benitez, 44, told the New York Post she wasn't satisfied with the amount of jail time Cherico is receiving. 

"She should get a year for every year she put me through this nightmare," she said - but added that she is hopeful the plea will give her some "closure."

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