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Convicted sex offender sentenced in severe decades-long identity theft scheme

July 27, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Convicted sex offender sentenced in severe decades-long identity theft scheme FILE - This photo provided by the Kansas Department of Corrections shows convicted child sex offender Fernando Neave-Ceniceros, who has been indicted by federal prosecutors and accused of stealing the identity of Marcus Calvillo. A decades-long nightmare that ruined Calvillo's life may ease a bit on Monday, May 2, 2016, when Neave-Ceniceros is expected to plead guilty to federal charges in Wichita, Kan. (Kansas Department of Corrections via AP, File)

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A convicted sex offender, who ruined a Texas man’s life when he stole his identity, was sentenced to prison in Kansas on Monday.

Marcus Calvillo told the U.S. District Court judge in Wichita, as Fernando Neave-Ceniceros received his punishment of a year and a day in federal prison, “I have carried his burden for too long. I am 45 years old, and I would like to have what’s left of my life solely to myself.”

Federal prosecutors have referred to this case as one of the most devastating they’ve seen. Back in May, 42-year old Neave-Ceniceros, a Mexican native, pleaded guilty to stealing the victim’s social security number. Court records indicate that the man had been illegally working in the U.S. under the stolen identity since he was 16 years old.

Neave-Ceniceros has been previously convicted of bribery and indecent liberties with a child, and he has spent the almost seven years in a Kansas prison, according to the Dallas Morning News

Prosecutors believe that he will be deported back to Mexico after he finishes serving his time in federal prison.

Marcus Calvillo poses for a photo at his parent's home in Grand Prairie, Texas. (TONY GUTIERREZ/AP)

Marcus Calvillo poses for a photo at his parent’s home in Grand Prairie, Texas. (TONY GUTIERREZ/AP)

He became linked to Calvillo when the fraud was first fingerprinted as a teenager using the fake social security number. After years of disputes, Calvillo almost gave up hope on trying to clear his name, but he then read an AP story about a case in 2013 in which a Houston school teacher’s identity was stolen. Calvillo reached out to the prosecutor in Wichita who was involved in that case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson, hoping that Anderson might be able to assist him.

During Monday’s hearing, Calvillo struggled to keep his composure as he tearfully described in detail how the loss of his good name caused him also to lose his family, his house, and multiple jobs.

The man also has been harassed over fraudulent checks he never wrote, letters from debt collection agencies he’s never heard of, and back taxes for income at businesses where he never worked. The man is a top-notch citizen and has never even had his driver’s license suspended.

Neave-Ceniceros said in a statement to the court, “I feel bad. I want to say I am sorry … I didn’t know it was going to be this bad. I never meant to hurt anybody.”

Judge J. Thomas Marten, who originally rejected the plea agreement in the case, appeared ready to sentence Neave-Ceniceros to the maximum of 30 months under the sentencing guidelines. However, he softened after defense attorneys and prosecutors urged him to accept the recommended year-and-a-day term.

The judge noted that the victim did not ask for the man to receive a longer sentence. The judge said, “All he really wants to the extent this court can provide it … is his good name back.”

The deal spared the victim from being forced testify at trial, and prosecutors say that the plea will help them clear Calvillo’s name faster.

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