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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Man pleads guilty to ID theft, evading child support

Advertiser Staff

A 49-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing the identity of a dead person and fleeing to Hawai'i to evade child-support payments in California.

Robert E.M. Sohnrey, also known as Edward B. Cook, pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud, identification theft, passport fraud and failure to pay child support. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Ezra on Oct. 4, 2004.

Sohnrey faces a maximum 15 years in prison on the identity theft charge and 10 years for passport fraud. He also could be sentenced to five years for Social Security fraud and two years for failing to pay child support.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo said Sohnrey was ordered to pay child support in 1993 following divorce proceedings in California. Sohnrey moved to Hawai'i, Kubo said, and obtained several state identification cards and a U.S. passport using the name of a deceased man.

Sohnrey also applied for Social Security disability benefits and received about $70,000, Kubo said.

For eight years, Sohnrey used the false identity to evade about $195,000 in child-support payments, Kubo said.