SANTA CLARITA—Much of Walt Disney’s multibillion dollar entertainment empire was built upon making people’s wildest dreams become reality. But a Canyon Country man’s quest to join the actual Disney family was rebuffed when he was arrested for felony burglary charges by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Fifty one year old Stephen David Urquidez posed as fictional Disney heir “Stephen Disney” before an instance of misplaced philanthropy led authorities to his alleged fraud.
On January 21st, Urquidez struck up a conversation with a 40-year-old female classmate, posing as Stephen Disney. According to an LASD press release, after the classmate told “Disney” that she volunteered with a non-profit organization, Urquidez gave her a pair of Disneyland tickets to use in a charity raffle. Urquidez didn’t arouse any suspicion until the raffle winners tried to use the passes and were told that their tickets hadn’t been activated.
This triggered a months-long LASD investigation that revealed that Urquidez used his alias for more than just an icebreaker. In tracking down the source of the tickets, authorities learned that the suspect had allegedly stolen the tickets from a local retail store. Further investigation into Urquidez’s identity showed that he had fleshed out the Stephen Disney persona with a forged driver’s license and falsified W-2 forms that put the Walt Disney Corporation as a source of income. The final nail in the coffin for Urquidez’s alias was delivered by the Walt Disney Corporation itself when they told detectives that neither Urquidez nor “Stephen Disney” had any affiliation with the company or the Disney family.
On May 21st, Urquidez was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station for the alleged burglary in addition to felony forgery of a state seal. Urquidez has since posted a $20,000 bond and has been released.
In an interview with KCAL9, Urquidez told a reporter that Stephen Disney was a completely different person.
“Somebody lived here before me named Disney. They’re confusing me with someone else,” Urquidez said. “I’m Stephen Urquidez. I don’t know Stephen Disney.”
LASD Deputy Joshua Dubin did not respond to an interview request.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Detectives are seeking public assistance in locating additional victims in this case. Investigators are attempting to locate anyone else who may have had contact with this man under similar circumstances. If you feel you can be of assistance in this case, please contact Santa Clarita Station Detective Elliott at 661-255-1121, or by calling LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
SCVnews.com: Detectives Seek Victims in “Stephen Disney” Scam
LA Times/KCAL: Man arrested in theft of Disneyland passes