Texas Police Arrest Fugitive with History of Fake Names

By Michael Klazema on 3/8/2018

Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 

At the time of his arrest, Hanson was exploiting a tuition waiver granted to him by the university's disability services to pursue a doctoral degree. The exact methodology Hanson used to fool the university into granting him admission into a high-level program remains unclear. An incident in April 2017 that involved Hanson flying into a rage frightened several professors who subsequently filed disciplinary complaints with the university. At this stage, university police conducted a background check.

This process allowed officers to uncover an active arrest warrant for Hanson in Oregon, where he was wanted in connection with a forgery case. In 2001, when Hanson was 25, he allegedly forged documents to pose as a 17-year-old and enroll in a high school. Upon being discovered, Hanson fled the state and began moving and changing his name.

Without the information provided by the background check, which included fingerprint data, it's unlikely Hanson's ruse would have unraveled quite so quickly. While some universities have moved to implement background checks of student employees, employing such checks on regular students would be an unusual move. How Hanson was able to avoid detection for so long, and how he convinced the University of Texas to grant him financial aid under fraudulent pretenses, highlights how easy it can be for someone to hide in plain sight. 

Employers often face similar concerns when conducting background checks on an employee. The information they receive is contingent on beginning with accurate information. This is why it can be helpful to expand the scope of a background check to include an alias search. provides a reliable alias search that checks names and Social Security numbers against hundreds of millions of criminal records alongside important databases like the SSA's Death Master List. The result is the ability to more confidently and thoroughly investigate an individual before allowing them into any significant position.

Police finally caught up with Hanson in Atlanta after he fled Texas, seemingly aware his identity there was compromised. With his arrest, Hanson is likely to face charges both in Texas and in Oregon for forgery and tampering. 


Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.