COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Columbus woman was arrested in Utah on federal charges related to stealing the identity of a baby who died as an infant.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio says 49-year-old Ava Misseldine is accused of using the infant’s identity to obtain a passport, a student pilot license, a job as a flight attendant, admission into The Ohio State University and pandemic relief loans.
According to court documents, Missledine stole the identity of a baby who died in 1979 and is buried in a Columbus cemetery.
In 2003, Missledine allegedly applied for an Ohio ID and later a Social Security card and driver’s license using the stolen identity.
Misseldine then posed as the stolen identity to obtain the student pilot certificate and U.S. passport.
She allegedly submitted paperwork claiming she needed the passport to travel internationally in her occupation as a flight attendant for JetSelect where she was employed under the false identity.
Authorities say Misseldine continued to obtain identity documents in both her real and fake names over the next 13 years. An investigation was launched in 2021 when she tried to renew the fraudulent passport.
Court documents allege Misseldine obtained approximately $1.5 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020 using her real and fake identities.
Her loan applications list her businesses as various bakeries and catering companies, including her former bakeries Sugar Inc. Cupcakes & Tea Salon in Dublin and Koko Tea Salon & Bakery in New Albany and at Easton.
Authorities say she submitted forged documents to support her loan applications.
Misseldine used the pandemic relief loan money to purchase a home for $647,500 adjacent to Zion National Park in Utah and a home for $327,500 in Michigan.
In August and September 2021, Misseldine, after relocating to Utah, allegedly obtained driver’s licenses in both names.
Misseldine was charged with passport fraud, Social Security number fraud, aggravated identity theft and fraud in connection with an emergency.
She will be transported to Ohio to face her charges in federal court. If convicted, Misseldine faces a mandatory minimum of two years and up to 30 years in prison.