Virginia Beach, Va. – A Virginia Beach couple is heartbroken after learning someone stole their teenage son’s identity not long after he died in a Valentine’s Day car accident.
“The accident was bad enough, but knowing that someone went after our son’s identity is just evil,” said Virginia Welch, Greg’s mother.
“Whoever did it realized it was an 18-year-old who’d been killed in a car crash,” said Greg’s father Kenneth Welch.
Greg died February 14, 2013 in a Shore Drive car accident. He was the passenger.
Two months to the day after his death on April 14, 2013, his parents were filing their taxes online when it alerted them that Greg’s taxes had already been filed.
“And then I knew my worst fears had come to pass, that somebody had stolen Greg’s identity,” said Virginia. “Here you have this person that you’re mourning so deeply, and missing so much, to have someone disrespect his name, that was the hardest part for me.”
Greg’s body was taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General hospital after the accident. NewsChannel 3 has learned two nurses aides have pleaded guilty to stealing dozens of patients’ information to file fraudulent tax returns around the time Greg’s body was at the hospital. However, Sentara officials said an audit revealed Greg was not one of the identities stolen by the nurses aides. Officials also said no one in their morgue could have stolen his information either.
The Welches said the IRS is investigating, and they hope authorities will find the person responsible.
“They’ll also reap what they sow,” said Virginia. “Damage and destruction will come into their lives because of the damage and destruction that they’re sowing into other people’s lives.”
The Federal Trade Commission said last year in Virginia, there were 2,250 claims of identity theft dealing with forged government documents. Most of those were fraudulent tax returns. Experts say you should notify the IRS of your loved one’s passing, and credit agencies as well so they can place a “do not issue credit” alert on their files.