- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Jurors in Kansas deliberated for just more than an hour Thursday before convicting a Canadian man of stealing the identity of his younger brother who died as an infant.

Decades after Wayne Bradly Camick’s death, federal prosecutors charged his older brother, Leslie Lyle Camick, a 58-year-old telecommunications field engineer who lived in Winfield, in a seven-count indictment with aggravated identity theft, obstruction of justice, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Camick showed no emotion as he stood stiffly, his hands clasped behind his back, as the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts.

Throughout the three-day trial, the prosecutors and the defense attorney each used different names to refer to the defendant.

In closing arguments Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson told jurors that Camick is an impostor who deceived the United States. He argued the defendant did not simply use a generic name but stole the identity of his dead sibling to live unlawfully in the United States.

Camick hatched a scheme in 1997, prosecutors say, to obtain his dead sibling’s birth certificate and obtain a Canadian social insurance number, that country’s equivalent of a Social Security number, in his brother’s name. He then used those documents to establish a new identity in the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart said Camick made a conscious decision to flee Canada, where he owed child support and other obligations. Over the course of 10 years he avoided more than $100,000 in child support payments for his two children. Hart suggested Camick had been seeking a “clean slate,” an identity with no baggage.

Defense attorney John Henderson tried to convince jurors in his closing arguments that his client had no intention to defraud anyone and had conducted all his business as Wayne Camick while in the United States.

“A person’s identity is who they are who they are in relationship to you. It is not defined by the birth name on a birth certificate,” Henderson said. “When you meet with people, when you interact with people, you don’t ask to see their birth certificate, and some people call themselves by names that are not in the birth certificate.”

The charges relate in part to Camick’s use of the false identity to obtain a U.S. patent for a locking manhole cover and for misrepresenting his identity to a Cowley County court while trying to regain ownership of a house his ex-girlfriend had bought.

The obstruction of justice charge stems from a civil rights lawsuit Camick filed after his indictment against his former girlfriend and others who were involved in the criminal case. The government contended the civil lawsuit, which was quickly dismissed, had been filed as retaliation.

His defense attorney declined to comment after the verdict.

Anderson, a prosecutor, said after the trial that it was the hardest case he had ever tried because of the logistics involved. Evidence and witnesses had to be gathered from all over the United States, the Cayman Islands, and Canada, where Camick had lived and worked during more than a decade of living under an assumed name.

“It goes to show how difficult it is to identify foreign nationals who are impostors and to gather evidence against them,” Anderson said.

Sentencing was set for April 21.


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