Oregon Man Pleads Guilty, Admits Identity Theft and Perjury
BOISE – Mauricio Becerril, 39, of Ontario, Oregon, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to aggravated identity theft and perjury, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, on September 3, 2010, Becerril, using the name “E.Z.R.,” filed an application to obtain a permanent United States resident card. In the application, Becerril used the name, date of birth, and social security number of the individual, aware that he was using another person’s identity. At the time that he filed the application, Becerril knew that E.Z.R. was a real person, based upon the fact that he requested a replacement permanent resident card, and had obtained permanent resident cards in E.Z.R.'s name in the past. On January 3, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved the application, and subsequently provided Becerril with a permanent resident card bearing the name of E.Z.R., but with Becerril’s photograph.
On June 11, 2012, Becerril met with a special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The agent was investigating whether Becerril obtained a visa by fraud using another individual's identity. When questioned under oath, Becerril swore his true identity was E.Z.R., knowing this was a false statement.
Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment. Perjury is punishable by up to five years in prison. Each charge is also punishable by up to three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Sentencing is set for March 11, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
“Identity thieves don’t just steal names, they steal peoples’ lives,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees Idaho investigations. “This is a crime that wreaks havoc on a victim’s finances and reputations. It can take years, if not decades, to undo the damage.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement Removal Operations.
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