A New York woman got the surprise of a lifetime when she decided to marry her boyfriend but was told that she was already married to a man from Pakistan, according to sources quoting DailyMail.
Ebony Walton, 35, had been all set to get hitched to her boyfriend of 18 years when she was turned down for a marriage licence – because of a marriage that she had no clue about.
But as she tried to uncover the mystery behind her phantom marriage she realized that her identity was likely stolen by one of her family members who used it to carry out a sham green card marriage.
Walton was stunned when officials said they had a record of her marrying a Pakistani immigrant from Gujranwala on December 10, 1997 when she was just 18-years-old.
When she thought about the date of the marriage she realized that at that time she had been living with her boyfriend, mother and other family members in a Harlem apartment.
Two of her cousins suffered from drug problems and regularly stayed at the apartment and she believed that they stole her identity to get the money, according to The New York Post.
In an appeal to a city judge, Walton argued that her cousins had stolen her ID in order to use it, and get paid, for a sham green-card marriage.
She recalls leaving her state ID card lying around the house and after showing the judge the similarities between her and pictures of her cousins she built a strong case.
Judge John Spooner of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings agreed that her story was probably true and she had been the victim of identity theft.
On February 26, he ruled that ‘her two cousins looked enough like her that they could have used her identification card.’
She is now believed to be free to marry her real sweetheart.