Even the Dead Gamble
By darren
Dead people in America have been using their credit cards to gamble online. At least thatís what might have been happening until a married pair of fraudsters were tracked down in Phoenix.

The pair admitted to stealing identities of the dead and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court. The two were involved in a $400,000 scam that involved using dead people's identities to obtain credit cards.

According to federal prosecutors, Ernesto Lyle Galvez, 28, and his wife, Shakiya Hairston Galvez, 22, each admitted to a single felony last week. The Galvezes were indicted on 32 criminal counts in January 2002.

According to court papers, the couple devised a scheme to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards under false identities, sometimes assuming the names and personal identification of deceased people.

As part of his plea, Ernesto Galvez admitted making online gambling wagers and buying credit reports. He faces up to 15 years in prison. Shakiya Galvez admitted cashing fraudulent checks written by her husband, collecting $25,000 during a six-week period in late 2001. She faces up to five years in prison.

Both defendants are scheduled for sentencing June 2 before U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton

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