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Sheriff: Florida man stole dead man’s identity 22 years ago

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco County man stole the identity of a dead man back in 1994 and since then has gotten married, had a child, obtained a pilot’s license and obtained mortgages in the dead man’s name, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday.

PCSO investigators say Richard Hoagland, age 63, had been using the name of Terry J. Symansky who drowned in 1991 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The assumed identity was discovered after Terry Symansky’s nephew started an family search. The nephew did a Google search using Symansky’s name and discovered a notice of someone with the same name getting married in Pasco County. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation and found Hoagland had been using Symansky’s name.

Terry Symansky

Detectives say, Hoagland briefly moved in several years ago, with Symansky’s father, found Terry Symansky’s death certificate and that’s when he began assuming the deceased man’s identity.

Detectives say Hoagland has been using Symansky’s name since 1994. He allegedly obtained a pilot’s license, got married and had children. He also obtained several mortgages under the stolen identity.

“He is a selfish coward, who lived his life destroying others,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference on Thursday.

Hoagland is charged with fraudulent use of personal information.