PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Rhode Island couple has been charged with illegally using the personal information of an American citizen living in Dublin, who says he learned of the scam through Facebook, federal authorities announced Friday.

Federal prosecutors say the couple, who live in Warwick but whose true names aren’t known to authorities, used the stolen information during the last 18 years to obtain passports, a mortgage for their house and drivers’ licenses.

A criminal complaint unsealed Friday charges the man, a Russian national, and his wife, a naturalized American citizen, with identity theft, bank and passport fraud and other crimes. The man is being held pending a hearing next week, and his wife was released on $20,000 bond after appearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Police began investigating last summer when Fionghal Solomon MacEoghan, an American citizen living in Ireland, said he suspected that a Russian couple from Warwick had been using his identity. The woman identified herself as Olesya Maceoghan and her husband as Fionghal.

MacEoghan, who had last visited the United States 15 years ago, became suspicious after he found a woman from Rhode Island with the same last name on Facebook and began messaging with her, according to an affidavit submitted in support of the complaint. The woman told him the name MacEoghan came from her husband’s father and that, coincidentally, MacEoghan and her husband shared the same first and second name of Fionghal Solomon.

The woman said she was Russian and her husband was half-Russian and half-Irish. Mac- Eoghan filed a complaint last summer with police in Dublin.

It is not clear from the affidavit why the couple might have targeted MacEoghan’s identity.