Fake ID results in felony charges for student

by Amy Zoss

In what Sergeant Detective Don Duke of the Indianola Police Department calls “almost a rite of passage” for some college students, Indianola police arrested a man identifying himself as Nathan Oldorf for public intoxication.

On Sept. 20, 2002 the man was bouncing on a trampoline in the yard at 105 W. Clinton when the police arrived. A field test revealed a blood alcohol level of .132. The man paid his fine and completed community service for the misdemeanor crime.

It would be months before a crucial discrepancy came to light. Nathan Oldorf-the real Nathan Oldorf-graduated from Simpson College in 1999 and was living in Colorado at the time of the incident.

James Victor “Vic” May, a 19-year-old sophomore theater major, allegedly presented an Indianola police sergeant with a previous, but authentic, version of Oldorf’s Colorado driver’s license.

Oldorf, a Simpson graduate with a degree in criminal justice, later applied for a job with a police department in Colorado. According to Oldorf, a routine background check in late December revealed the misdemeanor public intoxication charge.

Oldorf called the Indianola Police Department to notify them that someone claiming to be him had used his identification. Oldorf offered to check with friends at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house, where Oldorf was a resident, to find out who had used his identification.

On Jan. 20, May was charged with felony identity theft. He now faces up to five years in prison and $7,500 fine.

“It’s quite a tough life lesson,” said May. “I never dreamed that I would get myself into trouble. Don’t use fake IDs-they are more trouble than they’re worth.”

May would not say how he had come into possession of Oldorf’s identification.

Oldorf, who still resides in Colorado, was not hired for the police job. Oldorf said that while there were some other minor things, the public intoxication charge and the use of his identification by May “definitely played a part” in the decision not to hire him.

“It has caused me a lot of problems,” said Oldorf. “It’s a violation of my rights and trust.”

Oldorf said he did not know how May got his identification. According to the Indianola Police report, Oldorf said he had lost his old drivers license while at Simpson.

Duke said he suspects some Simpson students of keeping old drivers licenses on hand in a drawer. “Then if you need an ID you just go into the drawer and pull one out,” said Duke.

Both May and Oldorf said that they didn’t know anything about the practice of keeping and using old identification cards.

According to Duke, the problem wasn’t identified earlier because public intoxication is a misdemeanor charge and fingerprints are not sent in for comparison with state records. Photographs on identifications aren’t reliable, said Duke, because people change a lot between the time they graduate from high school and when they are in college.

Duke said that in his 21 years with the police force he’s never heard of a case like May’s.

“Don’t let anyone use your identification because it could end up costing you your job,” said Duke. “Mr. May could have kept right on walking instead of paying his fine and Mr. Oldorf could have a warrant out for his arrest right now.”

May entered a plea of not guilty to the identity theft charge on Monday Feb. 17 at his arraignment hearing. A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for March 17 and a tentative court date on April 9, according to Assistant Warren County Attorney Patty Notch.

Oldorf said that he feels bad that May has to go through this experience, but “this has gone a little far-there is definitely a line, and he’s crossed it.”