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Missouri Woman Used Daughter’s Identity to Attend College

December 10, 2021

A 48-year-old Missouri woman used the Social Security card information of her estranged daughter to get a driver’s license, enroll in a university and obtain financial aid, The New York Times reported.

Laura Oglesby pretended to be in her 20s and used her daughter’s name, Lauren Ashleigh Hays, to enroll at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri, Chief Jamie Perkins of the Mountain View Police Department told the Times. Perkins said “everybody believed” Oglesby was a 22-year-old college student, including her boyfriends. During her time as a student, Oglesby received $9,400 in federal student loans, $5,920 in Pell Grants, $337 for books from the university’s bookstore and $1,863 in finance charges. The Mountain View Police Department first became aware of Oglesby in August 2018, after authorities in Arkansas contacted the department searching for her because she had stolen Hays’s identity the previous year to commit financial fraud and embezzle more than $25,000.

Oglesby pleaded guilty Monday to one count of intentionally providing false information to the Social Security Administration, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, and she could face up to five years in federal prison without parole, the Times reported. Oglesby must pay $17,521 in restitution to Southwest Baptist University and Hays, according to terms of her plea agreement.

In a statement Tuesday night, Southwest Baptist said that it had “cooperated fully with the investigation,” the Times reported. “We were saddened to learn about the situation. Our prayers are with all involved.”

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