Aspen man admits buying documents on street in Denver |

Aspen man admits buying documents on street in Denver

Staff report

A local man was charged with felony criminal impersonation Wednesday after police were alerted that he was using a blind man’s Social Security number for employment, police allege in court documents.

Jose Ruiz Tapia, age unavailable, told police he purchased the Social Security card for $80 along with a permanent resident card from a man in Denver, according to an Aspen police affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

“Tapia said he bought the documents from a guy that was on the street and that he had not known that the number belonged to someone else,” the affidavit states. “Tapia said he had never had a problem with the documents until now and that he had just wanted to have a social security number in order to get a job.”

Police were first notified of the problem in April, when the mother of a 26-year-old man called to say that the IRS had notified her that her son’s Social Security number was being used at three businesses in Aspen, according to the affidavit.

The man was not allowed to work because he’s blind and collects disability from the federal government, the affidavit states.

It was not clear Thursday why the case, which appeared to have been investigated in June, was not filed in District Court until now.

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