Accused identity thief pleads guilty to one charge using King County ID

RENO - A Canadian who used phony ID to work in the area for 15 years - as a deputy constable, bailiff and security officer - has pleaded guilty to obtaining credit using the name of an accountant in the King County sheriff's department.

William Donald Walton pleaded guilty Wednesday to using another person's identity for an unlawful purpose, obtaining credit, goods or services or something else of value. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 when sentenced Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, authorities in Canada were still trying to decide whether to prosecute Walton for a murder-for-hire-plot in that country more than 20 years ago, Reno police said.

Authorities said Walton has been living in the Reno area since the mid to late 1980s under the name of Roy M. Vasquez.

The real Roy M. Vasquez is an accountant for the King County Sheriff's Office in Seattle. Police said Walton had been impersonating the man, using his name, Social Security number and date of birth to gain employment, apply for credit and dodge income taxes.

''I was just stunned by what this guy had been doing and how long he'd been doing it,'' Vasquez said Thursday in Seattle.

He said he'd been dealing for some time with creditors owed money by someone using his name. In 1995, he heard from the IRS, which wanted additional income tax. The agency eventually accepted his contention that he had not been employed in Reno while working full-time in the Northwest.

When he heard from the IRS again, he realized the problem might keep coming up. In May, he decided to go to Reno and sort things out.

''I gathered all the information I could ... recent bills, my birth certificate, my driver's license,'' Vazquez said. ''I wanted to make sure they wouldn't say, 'Which one is the real one?'''

''I was pleasantly surprised'' in Reno, Vasquez said. ''They started checking things out as I was being interviewed.''

Most recently, Walton worked as a security supervisor for Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center. He also has worked as deputy constable and was once honored as deputy constable of the month. He also was a part-time bailiff for Reno Justice Court.

Walton was arrested at a Reno hospital on May 26 as his wife was being treated for a heart attack. At the time, he was booked into the jail as John Doe and would not cooperate with authorities, telling them he would talk only after they figured out who he was.

Police now say Walton is a British citizen who immigrated to Canada in the late 1970s and became involved in a business in the town of Lethbridge, Alberta.

There, he allegedly hired two other people to kill his business partner, and in 1978 he was arrested for murder for hire. Police said he posted bail and fled Canada, leaving behind the family that immigrated with him from Great Britain.

The two men Walton allegedly hired to commit the murder were convicted and served time on the charges while a warrant was pending on Walton, Reno police said.

Walton fled to the United States and has used various identities since, police said.

In 1995, based on Canadian law, the outstanding warrant went before Canadian courts for review. Due to the length of time the warrant had been outstanding and not served, Canadian courts vacated the warrant a year later, authorities in Reno said.

Reno police said Canadian authorities had not determined if Walton would face charges in that country.


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