Texas Yacht Captain Imprisoned for ID Theft, Passport Fraud

A Texas yacht captain who took the identity of a dead infant to escape litigation over the death of her husband and infant daughter in California has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Cynthia Lyerla of League City pleaded guilty on March 30 to federal counts of identity theft and making false statements on a passport application. U.S. District Judge George Hanks ordered her Wednesday to serve one year in prison on the passport charge and two years on the aggravated identity theft charge. He ordered the 53-year-old woman to serve the sentences consecutively.

Lyerla took the identity of Christina White to escape litigation arising from the 1988 stabbing death of her husband, Harold Lyerla. Her true identity was exposed when she was fingerprinted for a mariner license application.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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