Hawaii couple who stole identities from dead babies found guilty

A couple in Hawaii known as Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague were found guilty of stealing their names — and identities — from babies who died last century. In fact, the real Bobby Fort died of a cough 50 years ago when he was only 3 months old, while Julie Montague died around 55 years ago at 3 weeks old from causes related to birth defects.

A witness in the trial, who went to high school in Texas with both defendants, said one reason the couple had changed their identities was to avoid "substantial debt," according to ABC News.

A Honolulu jury found Fort and Montague — whose real names are Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison —guilty of "conspiracy, passport fraud, and identity theft" on Monday after deliberating for two hours. The fraudsters, whose sentencing is in March, face up to 10 years in prison.

From ABC:

The two babies were buried in Texas cemeteries 15 miles (24 kilometers) apart, [Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom] Muehleck said. …

One of the witnesses who testified was Tonda Montague Ferguson, who said she was in the eighth grade when her mother gave birth to her sister, Julie Montague, in 1968. But the infant had birth defects and died about three weeks later, Ferguson said.

The husband even used his fake identity, which made him 12 years younger, to join the Coast Guard, the prosecutor said.

When they're sentenced in March, they face maximum 10-year prison terms for charges of making false statements in the application and use of a passport. They face up to five years for conspiracy charges and mandatory two-year consecutive terms for aggravated identity theft.

The case gained attention soon after their arrests last year because prosecutors suggested it was about more than just identity theft. Early on, prosecutors introduced Polaroids of the couple wearing wearing jackets that appear to be authentic KGB uniforms. Lawyers for the couple said they wore the same jacket once for fun and prosecutors later backed away from any Russian spy intrigue.