Dad fakes his death to avoid paying child support

FRANKFORT, KY – Jesse Kipf, a 38-year-old man from Kentucky, pleaded guilty to computer fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was indicted for fabricating his death in an effort to evade paying over $100,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, according to the plea agreement.

Kipf confessed to producing a counterfeit Hawaii Death Certificate Worksheet in January 2023, where he certified his death under a rudimentary alias. His crime was revealed through a collaborative investigation led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of the Attorney General for Hawaii, the FBI in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

The plea agreement outlines that Kipf unlawfully entered other states’ death registry systems via stolen login details, leading to his status as deceased in numerous government databases.

Besides staging his death, Kipf also unlawfully accessed private business, government, and corporate networks using the stolen login details. His intent was to acquire and sell sensitive information on various underground online platforms.

He was charged in January with computer fraud for trespassing into the networks of GuestTek Interactive Entertainment and Milestone Inc. in 2023.

The approximate damage caused by Kipf, inclusive of the child support evasion and network intrusion, exceeds $195,000, as stated in court documents. As part of a plea deal, Kipf has agreed to pay $3,500 in restitution to Hawaii, $56,247 to Milestone Inc., $19,653 to GuestTek Interactive Entertainment, and $116,357 to the California child support agency.

Kipf, initially facing up to 30 years in prison, accepted a plea deal to drop several charges. His sentencing is scheduled for April 12 in a federal court in Frankfort, Kentucky. He is currently facing a maximum sentence of up to five years for aggravated identity theft and a minimum of two years for computer fraud, both of which come with a hefty fine of $250,000.