R. Scott Owens
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: April 7, 2011
Public Information Officer
Assistant District Attorney
IMPERSONATOR RECEIVES TWO YEARS
IN PRISON FROM PLACER COUNTY JUDGE
An Auburn man who made life miserable for a Florida resident by using his identity for the past 17 years has been sent to a California prison.
Joseph Daniel Oscar Kidd, 56, received a two-year sentence Friday from Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry after pleading no contest to felony charges of identity theft and welfare fraud.
Kidd took the name of Larry Edward Smith in 1993 after somehow obtaining the Florida man’s date of birth and social security number, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case.
Kidd settled in Auburn, where he has been arrested numerous times for drug offenses and for an incident involving forgery, said prosecutor Joe Hoffmann of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office.
“He’s been convicted in seven prior Placer County cases under the victim’s identity of Larry Smith,” Hoffmann said.
The sheriff’s office reported that the lack of technology in 1993 had allowed Kidd to be continually booked as Smith because he had identification stating he was Smith. In addition, Kidd’s fingerprints became linked to Smith’s name.
“Mr. Kidd once went to prison under the name of Larry Smith,” Hoffman said.
The theft of his identity caused numerous problems for the real Larry Smith, who is now 67 and who has no criminal record, according to Placer sheriff’s detectives.
The real Smith has had liens placed against tax refunds, been denied medical care, had his driver’s license suspended and was once put in jail for eight days under an arrest warrant because of Kidd’s criminal activities in California.
Hoffmann said he is now taking steps to hopefully end the problems for Smith.
“I am petitioning the court to find Larry Smith factually innocent in all seven prior criminal cases that involved Mr. Kidd,” he said.
Hoffmann said the California Department of Justice maintains a database to collect and store information for individuals who have had their identities stolen.
“Larry Smith will have access to that database in the event anyone suspects that he committed the crimes for which Mr. Kidd was responsible,” he said.
In addition, Hoffmann said he will network with prosecutors in the state of Arkansas, where Kidd had also been arrested under the name of Larry Smith.
“We want the victim’s name cleared from any convictions perpetrated by Mr. Kidd under Larry Smith’s name,” he said.