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Mother, 48, spent two years living as her estranged daughter after stealing her identity

Mother, 48, spent two years living as her estranged daughter after stealing her ID to secure loans, get a driver’s license, enroll in university and even date guys who believed she was 22

  • Laura Oglesby, 48, adopted the identity of her estranged daughter Lauren Ashleigh Hays in 2016, who was 22 at the time
  • Oglesby applied for a Social Security Card in her daughter’s name and embezzled over $25,000
  • She pleaded guilty to Social Security Fraud and faces up to five years in prison 


A mother has pleaded guilty to spending two years living as her estranged daughter after stealing her identity to enroll in university, secure student loans and get a driver’s license.

Laura Oglesby, 48, adopted the identity of her estranged daughter Lauren Ashleigh Hays in 2016, who was 22 at the time, after applying for a Social Security Card in her name. 

To locals in Mountain View, Missouri, Oglesby was a 22-year-old student called Lauren Hays who dated men who believed she was that young and had a job at the city library.

But in reality, she was a mother in her 40s who had assumed her estranged daughter’s identity and embezzled over $25,000 – and who now faces up to five years in prison without parole for Social Security Fraud.

Laura Oglesby, 48, (pictured) adopted the identity of her estranged daughter Lauren Ashleigh Hays in 2016, who was 22 at the time, after applying for a Social Security Card in her name

To locals in Mountain View, Missouri, Oglesby (pictured) was a 22-year-old student called Lauren Hays who dated men who believed she was that young and had a job at the city library. But in reality, she was a mother in her 40s who had assumed her estranged daughter's identity and embezzled over $25,000

To locals in Mountain View, Missouri, Oglesby (pictured) was a 22-year-old student called Lauren Hays who dated men who believed she was that young and had a job at the city library. But in reality, she was a mother in her 40s who had assumed her estranged daughter’s identity and embezzled over $25,000

‘Everyone believed it,’ Chief Jamie Perkins of the Mountain View Police Department told The New York Times. ‘She even had boyfriends that believed that she was that age: 22 years old.’  

In 2016, on the day of obtaining a fraudulent Social Security card in her daughter’s name, Oglesby used the card to obtain a Missouri driver’s license, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri said in a statement. 

A year later, Oglesby used the Security Card again to enroll at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri where she applied for and received financial aid to attend. 

She received $9,400 in federal student loans, $5,920 in Pell Grants, $337 for books she got from the University bookstore, and $1,863 in finance charges.

After pleading guilty to the charge of Social Security Fraud, Oglesby must pay $17,521 to the university as well as restitution to her daughter Lauren for identity theft.

Oglesby will face a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. 

Her story unraveled in 2018 when authorities in Arkansas contacted Mountain View Police Department. 

Oglesby used the Security Card again to enroll at Southwest Baptist University (pictured) in Missouri where she applied for and received financial aid to attend

Oglesby used the Security Card again to enroll at Southwest Baptist University (pictured) in Missouri where she applied for and received financial aid to attend

They had been searching for Oglesby who they said had stolen her daughter Lauren’s identity to embezzle more than $25,000 and they believed she was now living in Mountain View, a city just north of the Arkansas state line. 

She was later arrested by the Mountain View Police department. Officers revealed that Oglesby had been working at a city library in Mountain View for over a year under her daughter’s identity. 

Chief Perkins told The New York Times: ‘She actually was employed here, which was kind of off. And that’s how we figured out who she was.’

Perkins said officers had pulled Oglesby over at a traffic stop. After initially denying that she was Oglesby, she admitted it after the police showed her proof that they knew her identity. 

‘She was just running because she was in a domestic violence relationship, and she’d been running for years,’ Chief Perkins said Oglesby told the police. ‘We don’t know her life story outside of what she told us, but we know what happened here.’  

‘She had lived that life for a couple of years and basically just ruined her daughter’s credit,’ Chief Perkins said.  

Southwest Baptist University said in a statement that it had ‘cooperated fully with the investigation.’

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