Local woman says TX prisoner is using her social security number

Local woman says TX prisoner is using her social security number (Image 1)

An Ashland City woman is frustrated because she says a prisoner in Texas has been using her social security number and authorities won't do anything about it.

Ruther Patterson said she was notified recently of the alleged fraud when she went to her own local medical center and a nurse red flagged her account saying her social security number had been used in Texas.

“It's very frustrating. They told me with him being in jail, they probably wouldn't do anything,” Patterson said.

The grandmother of five said she had a relationship with prisoner Billy John Roberts 25 years ago. She ended the relationship after Roberts allegedly became violent.

“I was very scared. He tried to kill me twice,” Patterson recalled, adding, “I thought I was rid of this guy 25 years ago, and it is against the law and they act like they don't care.”

Patterson told Nashville's News 2 Investigates she has not seen Roberts in 25 years, yet for the last decade he has been using her social security number, causing her many problems.

“I went to a local ER and they told my husband, they said, two days prior to my visit, someone used my social security number, a male and she said his name was Billy,” Patterson said, adding, “So I called Texas Department of Criminal Justice where he is in prison and they say he has used that social for the better part of 21 years in Texas where he is in the pen.”

The woman says she has contacted authorities locally, as well as officials in Texas, and so far no one has taken action.  

“I've called Texas. I've called the Batten Facility where he is at. I have called the Gray County Sheriff's Department, who rudely said quit bugging them, they don't handle it. I called the Ombudsman's Office in Texas, I called Governor Perry's office, I called Equifax and the Social Security Office,” she said.

Nashville's News 2 Investigates called John Webb, the chief of white collar crimes for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle Tennessee district.  

“It sounds like you have described medical identity theft. And that could certainly involve health care fraud. And certainly that is something we would want to know,” he said.  

Late Tuesday afternoon, a representative for the Texas Department of Corrections contacted Nashville's News 2 saying our story information had been forwarded on to the Office of Inspector General for the TDCJ to review.

Investigators at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Tennessee have also taken interest in the case.

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