Police continue investigation of woman pretending to be man

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - She tricked police by pretending to be a man, now investigators said a woman tricked dozens, maybe hundreds, of people into sending her their personal information and money.

Antonio Silliano is one of a number of fake names used by a woman who was taken into Memphis Police custody.  But Silliano failed to claim her real identity when she was arrested for identity theft.

Investigators said Silliano was using the internet to solicit online resumes for job seekers across the country.  And was collecting money to conduct background checks for jobs that never materialized.

A Google search produced dozens of warnings about Silliano's scam.

A website dedicated to finding her has complaints logged from St. Louis, Atlanta, New York, and Texas. When police caught up with Silliano in Memphis Wednesday morning, they had the right suspect but something went wrong when Shelby County jailers booked her.  
"One thing vitally important that we didn't do and that is that we didn't do an adequate search," Steve Shular of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department said.

Silliano spent an entire night with a male cell mate at 201 Poplar before jailers caught the gender mix up.

While the sheriff's department investigates a case of mistaken identity, Memphis Police are investigating Silliano's other identities.

In Memphis she had also been using the name Carlos Hernandez.  She had no previous criminal charges here. But investigators are still looking into her past to find out if she, who was posing as a he, has broken any other laws.

Silliano has not been officially charged yet and the sheriff's department has not disciplined the jailer who mistook her identity.

The results on both could come Monday.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.