Woman applauds MPD arrest of alleged identity thief

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tony Silliano appeared in Shelby County Criminal Court by video Monday morning, a moment Susan Lapakko had been waiting for.

Lapakko says Silliano, a woman who poses as a man, scammed her son, and has been tracking her for over a year.

"Because when you mess with Mama Lapakko's kid, somebody's gonna come after you, and it will usually be Mama Lapakko," she said.

You may remember that Antonio Silliano - aka Carlos Hernandez - was accidentally booked into the Shelby County Jail last week as a man.  She's charged with leading an identity theft ring.

Lapakko says Silliano pulled off the same scam in Dallas, Texas.  She says Silliano used a job seeker website to offer her son a job with a fake company, telling him he'd have to pay $69 for a background check, and then split with the money.

That's when Lapakko set up a website: StopSilliano.com.

"We're going to keep the website up until we're sure that this has become something that the FBI steps into," she said.

Lapakko says about 100 victims in 10 states have responded to the website.
Action News 5 asked Silliano's attorney, Claiborne Ferguson, if the claims are true.

"Not that we're aware of at this point, but then again, we haven't looked into those other states," Ferguson said.

Lapakko is now praising the Memphis Police Department.

"They are my heroes, and the heroes of everybody involved in this," she said.

Lapakko said no one has been able to stop Silliano until now.

Memphis police want anyone who gave their information to Silliano to call 901-545-5350.

Silliano's attorney will ask the judge to lower the her $500,000 bond during a review on Wednesday.

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