Lyle Keith Lindsey, 1, was killed by a car on Jan. 16, 1957, and he was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. A federal agent investigating the identity theft visited his grave, according to court records.
His father, Kenneth Lindsey, a veteran, died in 1999, and his mother, Lela Lindsey, died in 2016 and they are buried beside each other at Fort Rosecrans, according to findagrave.com.
A man from Senegal fraudulently assumed the toddler’s identity in 1988 and obtained $84,033 in government grants and loans.
The imposter’s true name, Almamy Baba Ly, 65, was ordered to pay $84,033 back to the U.S. Department of Education and $4,518 in food stamps to San Diego County by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia on Dec. 9.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Hill recommended a 2 1/2 year prison term while Ly’s attorney, Jeremy Delicino, sought an 18-month sentence.
“This prison sentence sends a message to those who commit fraud and identity theft: there will be consequences, and your crimes will not go unpunished,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer after the sentencing.
“This was an especially sophisticated and devious fraud that victimized U.S. taxpayers for decades and forced a family to revisit a traumatic loss,” said Brewer.
“Finding out that someone is committing crimes in the name of a child who was lost many years ago brings unacceptable anxiety to his survivors,” said Brewer.
The toddler is survived by a sister and she assisted the U.S. Attorney’s office and Homeland Security investigations, court records say.
Ly pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful production of identification documents and receiving and concealing public money.
He will likely be deported back to Senegal once he finishes his sentence.
Ly somehow presented an altered birth certificate of Lyle Lindsey and claimed that name for 31 years. However, he also had a Facebook account under his true identity.
Ly was convicted of a drug charge in Los Angeles Superior Court under Lyle Lindsey’s name and even went to prison under that assumed name, according to court records.
In July, U.S. Border Patrol agents served a search warrant at Ly’s residence in La Mesa where his true identity was confirmed. He was arrested and ordered detained without bail by a judge.
Ly worked as a cook. He was also ordered to pay $400 in penalty assessment fees.
The toddler died from an extensive skull fracture and there were multiple stories in the San Diego Union at the time. Etched on his grave are the words “forever loved.”