Brazilian Stole Identity of A Deceased American Child and Lived as An American for 25 Years

Flight attendant attended events in the world of aviation and was discovered when renewing passport

São Paulo

"Full name?"

"Eric Ladd," replies Ricardo. "It's very common for us to give a nom de guerre in the United States, this in all [airline] companies. They ask us not to disclose the full name too much, I apologize, but everyone knows me as Eric Ladd."


"Atlanta, Georgia," said the man who, according to the US government, is a native of São Paulo.

This is how he introduced himself in an August 2020 live broadcast on the Brazilian YouTube channel PandAviation. But the US State Department claims he is Ricardo César Guedes.

He was Invited to talk about his nearly 25-year history as a flight attendant at United Airlines, one of the largest airlines in the world. Ricardo (or Eric) said that he was born in the United States, but that he is the son of a Brazilian mother —here he gets confused and says who were sort of both", father and mother, are Brazilians—, was raised in São Paulo. He concludes by stating that he considers himself from São Paulo and that he returned to the US at 22 to work in aviation.

Today he is in jail. According to the US government, he stole the identity of William Ericson Ladd, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1974—and died in a car accident before he turned five years old.

Brazilian Ricardo César Guedes obtained a US passport, built a career in aviation, got married and bought a series of goods pretending to be American during the more than 25 years that he assumed the identity of a child who had died in 1979, according to the indictment.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language