Man's ID stolen multiple times

Sept. 18, 2008 at 4:52 PM
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JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A mentally disabled Illinois man whose identity was stolen to pay $350,000 for heart-bypass surgery had it stolen again, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Legal documents and land records show that the caretaker of Philip Johnson, 57, of Joliet, Ill., used the disabled man's identity to buy a stake in a Mexican restaurant in South Bend, Ind., The Chicago Tribune said.

Donald Zouras, 70 -- who served four years in prison for a 1982 forcible-detention case and has active warrants for his arrest in Cook County and Kenosha County, Wis. -- also used Johnson's identity to purchase and twice refinance the home they share in Joliet and to buy two vehicles that Johnson cannot drive, the newspaper said.

When Zouras and wife Mona Lisa Russell were sued last year for back mortgage payments on the restaurant, they also used Johnson's name to cover part of the debt, the report said.

Zouras told the Tribune he used Johnson's name to purchase the home and vehicles because he could not get financing with his spotty work record and criminal history.

He said that he loves Johnson "like a brother" and that his financial impersonations were made with Johnson's interest in mind.

Zouras has not been charged with wrongdoing in the case.

Johnson said he was angry at John Parsons, 57, an ex-con from Oak Park, Ill., for racking up $350,000 for the heart surgery.

But he said he was not angry at Zouras, whom he credited with helping keep him off the street.

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