Timothy Matthews, 53, assumed the identity of a dead British baby for 20 years,He used the fake passport to access seven countries including China and Russia, Matthews live in England after a rift with his family, before moving to Oregon.He remains in custody while his possible release is reviewed by a second judge.
An Oregon man is accused of using a fake Great Britain passport with the identity of a baby that died over 50 years ago.
Timothy Michael Matthews, 53, of Newberg, assumed the identity of Peter Matthews, who was born and died on September 6, 1963 in Neath, Great Britain according to a federal complaint.
Timothy Matthews was born under the name Timothy Michael Schneidt in Wyoming and was estranged from his family. He moved to England to work in the 1980's before returning to the United States and settling in Oregon.
He officially changed his name to Matthews in Portland in September of 2013. 'He decided he liked being Mr. Matthews,' defense lawyer Alison Clark told a judge Monday, according to OregonLive.
Matthews gained access to at least seven countries using the baby's identity. He entered Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Russia, Guatemala and Kazakhstan with the forged passport.
'Based on multiple photograph comparisons, the United Kingdom passport that was issued to Peter Matthews, bears the defendant's photo... On October 19, 2012 Her Majesty's Passport Office in the United Kingdom revoked passport number 7**** issued to defendant Matthews, based on fraud,' the complaint reads.
A misuse of passport charge is a federal felony.
Assistant US Attorney Benjamin Tolkoff says investigators suspect the man was 'up to something nefarious.' Clark argued for Matthew's release Monday, saying that he has community ties and is working as a residential manager of a transitional housing program for homeless men in Newberg.
'He's willing to appear (in court) and be accountable for any offense he may have committed,' Clark told the judge. Tolkoff called it a 'very unusual case' and that his traveling under a false British passport raises suspicions.
'Traveling under an assumed name and doing so extensively around the globe raises real concerns,' Tolkoff said in court. 'Why wouldn't he just use his real name and passport?... His activities are at best suspect, if not criminal.''
US Magistrate District of Oregon Judge Paul Papak, didn't disagree, but first questioned: 'You have suspicions but you have no evidence of any criminal behavior?' 'Yes,' Tolkoff answered.
'I have all the suspicions you have, Mr. Tolkoff, but I don't think I can detain on that,' the judge said, according to OregonLive.
As of now, Matthews will remain in custody as a judge in California Justice reviews Papak's decision to release Matthews. Matthews was caught crossing the boarder from Tijuana, Mexico into California. The matter will ultimately be heard in the Southern District of California.