Medway Man Convicted Of Fraud And Collecting Section 8 Housing Funds
BOSTON – A Dominican national living in Medway was convicted yesterday of fraudulently receiving more than $120,000 in federal housing funds.
Samuel Stalin Lebreault Feliz, a/k/a Antonio Jose Rodriguez Rodriguez, was convicted following a four-day jury trial of two counts of passport fraud, false representations to the Social Security Administration, and theft of public money. U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for May 29, 2014.
In November 2003, Feliz submitted an application for a U.S. passport at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, representing himself to be Juan Antonio Castro Pizarro, an individual born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and, therefore, a U.S. citizen. Feliz claimed that he had lost his travel documents while traveling abroad and wanted to return to Massachusetts where he lived. Feliz succeeded in deceiving embassy officials and was issued a passport in the name of Juan Antonio Castro Pizarro.
After arriving at Miami International Airport, Feliz attempted to use the issued passport and was held for further questioning during which Feliz claimed that he was not Juan Antonio Castro Pizarro, but rather Antonio Jose Rodriguez Rodriguez, a Venezuelan citizen seeking political asylum. Feliz’s application for political asylum was eventually denied, but he was not deported from the United States at that time because while his application was pending he married a U.S. citizen. He later claimed to be the victim of abuse by his wife, and petitioned the government under a special program for victims of domestic violence to be able to stay in the United States.
From March 2007 through September 2013, Feliz, using the false name of Antonio Jose Rodriguez Rodriguez, applied for and received over $120,000 in funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 program. The Section 8 program is a federal program that provides rent and utility money to low income lawful residents.
A subsequent investigation revealed that Feliz assumed the identity of the true Juan Antonio Castro Pizarro and later concocted the identity of Antonio Jose Rodriguez Rodriguez from Venezuela. Feliz’s true identity is Samuel Stalin Lebreault Feliz, a citizen of the Dominican Republic with no legal status in the United States.
The statutory maximum penalty for passport fraud and theft of public money, respectively, is 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The statutory maximum penalty for making a false representation to the Social Security Administration is five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; David W. Hall, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Boston Field Office; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Office; and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carlos A. López and David G. Tobin of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.