It was May 2011, I was a successful 32-year-old entrepreneur, living in a penthouse condo overlooking the San Diego bay, driving a pearl white BMW M5, and living the dream.
And I ended up in jail…
I was just like any young adult, thinking I was untouchable and not taking any precautions to my identity. It was the biggest mistake of my life, and it cost me everything.
It all began when I started a mortgage and real estate company with my friend. I ran the real estate side of things in San Diego and he ran the mortgage department in Los Angeles. Business was good and we became successful in a short amount of time.
Fast-forward a few years…..
We witnessed the mortgage bubble burst and it bruised our industry along with our pocket books. Real estate and mortgage firms were going out of business left and right. We were holding steady but barely.
This is when I became a victim of identity theft and I never saw it coming.
My partner/friend decided to take matters into his own hands and started using my identity (without my knowledge) to initiate fraudulent loans. He met face to face with homeowners saying he was me (handing them my business card) and promised them low interest rate loans.
He would then go on to charge them ridiculous fees and not coming through on the quoted interest rate he had promised. He took advantage of dozens of people, pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then fled the country.
My supposed friend and business partner left me all the legal and financial ramifications to deal with.
I was forced to shut my business down and let go of all my employees. Then one-by-one, the lawsuits began to pile up. It was so bad that I had to declare bankruptcy. My perfect 800+ credit score that I was so proud of was destroyed.
I had just lost my business, the car I dreamt about owning since high school, my rental properties, and my dignity. I was depressed to the point where I didn’t leave my house for a few months. I was in shock with what happened to my life.
At this point I hit a new low after losing all my material possessions, but if you can believe it, not rock bottom.
And then one morning…
My door gets pounded on. I rushed to look through my door’s peephole to see whom it was slamming on my door. It ended up being a dozen cops with a battering ram ready to bash the door in. I opened the door and multiple guns were drawn in my face.
That was the scariest moment of my life.
I was taken downtown, fingerprinted, had my photo taken, and thrown in jail. All for something that I had nothing to do with.
I was as uncorrupt as one could ever be. I had never drunk alcohol my entire life, never done a drug, smoked anything, and didn’t swear. Never been in a physical altercation with anyone and now I was sitting in a jail surrounded by violent felons.
It’s nothing short of crazy to think I would be in jail if you knew me.
This is a story that you might see as a plot of a movie or suspenseful book, but no, this actually happened to me. It was a dark time in my life that put me in a state of depression and I didn’t know what to do.
I spent a lot of time in reflection and questioned what I was going to do with my life that had purpose. After months of talking to many friends and family, I decided that I needed to spread awareness to identity theft.
This is an epidemic that affects millions of people every year. I know my situation is the most severe case you can imagine and it’s far from your average credit card fraud scenario. But if I can save people from having to deal with a fraction of what I went through by increasing their awareness to this issue, I would be extremely happy.
I learned so much going through my whole ordeal and really educated myself on how vulnerable we are to someone stealing our identities. I have put 1,000’s of hours of research into creating noidentitytheft.com as a resource for you to learn everything about identity theft.
My goal for this site is to give you quality information, increase awareness, create tools for you to use, and teach you what to do if you ever fall victim to identity theft.
Please make your identity a priority and don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re “untouchable” like I did.