A 28-year-old woman and her mother have been arrested after she posed as a 17-year-old to enroll in a Louisiana high school, according to authorities.
Martha Gutierrez-Serrano is accused of using a fraudulent passport and birth certificate to enroll in Hahnville High School in Boutte, 30 miles west of New Orleans, for the 2022-23 school year.
Officials from the St Charles Parish Public Schools district received a tip that a female student, who claimed to be 17 years old, was an adult in her mid-20s, the St Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
They launched an internal investigation and notified the sheriff’s office that they suspected Ms Gutierrez-Serrano of lying about her age.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for the home Ms Gutierrez-Serrano shared with her 46-year-old mother Marta Serrano-Alvarado on South Kinler St, Boutte.
They found a fake passport and birth certificate belonging to the younger woman, the sheriff’s office said.
Detectives learned that Ms Serrano-Alvarado had used the false documents to enroll her daughter at Hahnville High, the sheriff’s office said.
Both women have been charged with one count of injuring public records, which covers the falsification of public records.
If found guilty, they could face up to five years in prison and substantial fines.
It’s not known how long Ms Gutierrez-Serrano attended the school.
In March, 29-year-old New Jersey woman Hyejeong Shin allegedly used false papers to enroll in high school as a 16-year-old.
Ms Shin’s attorney said she had been trying to recreate her teenage years and entered a not guilty plea to a charge of providing a false government document.
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