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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

El Salvadorian National Charged With Fraudulently Receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits

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BOSTON - A Chelsea man was charged today with mail fraud for fraudulently accepting over $46,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.

Oscar P. Valles-Lopez, a/k/a Oscar Valle, 44, was charged in a criminal complaint with mail fraud.

Valles-Lopez is an El Salvadorian national who illegally reentered the United States in or around July 2003 after previously living in this country between 1996 and 2001. After working for several years based upon fraudulently obtained immigration papers, he lost his job sometime in 2009. It is alleged that, although though he knew he was not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits without a valid work permit, Valles-Lopez paid $400 for a false permit and made three claims for benefits in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Over the course of several years, Valles-Lopez allegedly cashed 111 unemployment checks totaling $46,218, all of which were mailed by the United States Postal Service.

The maximum sentence under the statute is 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Cheryl Garcia, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, New York Regional Office; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Eugenia M. Carris of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.