Real ID technology results in theft arrest
A Reno man has been arrested on theft charges after he was identified as having a false driver’s license b high-tech facial recognition software installed as part of Nevada’s Real ID system.
Donald Howard, 50, has been accused of illegally collecting disability benefits under a false identity for 17 years. Howard faces one count of identity theft, one count of filing or submitting a false application and one count of possession of fraudulent documents, all felonies. His bail was set at $14,500.
According to investigators, Howard had a Nevada identification card in his real name and a driver’s license in an identity he admitted buying 18 years ago. It’s estimated he has collected at least $115,000 in disability benefits using the fake driver’s license over the past 17 years.
He was caught because he renewed his fake driver’s license at the department’s Galletti office and then renewed his identification card at the Reno Express office the same day. The computerized program compared his digital photographs and found both documents.
The facial recognition software is part of the new, secure driver’s license system that was put in place in October. It is designed to help eliminate identity theft.