Identity Politics: The ‘real’ Susan Ladner files identity theft complaint with sheriff’s office
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 18, 2017, 17:08
The controversy began after the Main Harbor Office, which Genin also operates, started booting cars parked in its private spaces.
Louisiana resident Susan Ladner has filed a criminal complaint with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office claiming that someone recently used her pictures and likeness to create a Facebook account which has been the center of controversy in Bay St. Louis over the past few weeks, authorities said Tuesday.
Hancock County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Don Bass said Tuesday that his office has opened an identity theft investigation.
"Mrs. Ladner does not live in Hancock County and she said that she did not create this particular Facebook profile," Bass said. "She has asked us to look into it."
About a month ago, a person posing as Susan Ladner apparently started an account on the popular social media site.
The account included pictures of the real Susan Ladner and other identifying information, Bass said.
At first, the person or people behind faux account made a series of politically-charged comments on city issues and the upcoming elections.
Things came to a head last week during a Facebook discussion about parking in Old Town Bay St. Louis, specifically the use of "boots" by the Blind Tiger restaurant.
In the past week, Blind Tiger owner Thomas Genin has offered a $10,000 reward for information that would help unmask the person or persons behind the bogus Susan Ladner profile.
In a press release last week, Genin said that he plans to file a civil lawsuit against the person responsible for disparaging social media comments about his business.
Bass said the first task for investigators will be to try to determine who is responsible for creating the account.
"We are going to call Facebook and we have some other tools to try to find out who is behind it and where it is coming from," Bass said. "The real Mrs. Ladner wants to pursue charges, so we will see what happens next."
The bogus Susan Ladner account has apparently been deleted from Facebook.
Bogus social media accounts are nothing new, but most times, they are created with intentions of scamming people out of money, authorities say.
It is unclear if the person responsible for the account attempted to obtain any financial benefit from the account, or if the fake Susan Ladner was simply seeking to make political and community comments anonymously.
Over the years, there have been many lawsuits where individuals have made internet posts on blogs and sites where they do not have to give their real names.
There are dozens of examples which state that individuals making comments on the internet are responsible for the content regardless of whether he or she lists his or her respective names.