News and Press Releases

Identity Theft Arrest Rockingham County Resident Charged with Producing False ID Documents

December 21, 2009

Greensboro — A 32-year-old Madison man was arrested last week for allegedly producing and selling fraudulent immigration and social security documents, announced Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.

The defendant, JUAN RUIZ-HERNANDEZ, is charged in a criminal complaint with the manufacture, sale, and distribution of a fraudulent Permanent Resident card and a fraudulent Social Security card, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028 and Title 42, United States Code, Section 408. He was arrested near his home in Madison, North Carolina, which was allegedly used as a document lab. The arrest followed an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, License and Theft Bureau, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office and the Asheboro Police Department.

“Identity theft and document fraud are serious offenses that threaten our national security and the stability of our financial and business institutions,” said U.S. Attorney Wagoner. “Investigation and prosecution are essential components of a strategy to combat these crimes.”

"Document fraud and other forms of immigration benefit fraud undermine the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system and potentially rob deserving immigrants of benefits they rightfully deserve," said Del Richburg, assistant special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Charlotte. “We will continue to aggressively target those participating in or facilitating these crimes.”

Document fraud refers to the manufacture, sale or use of counterfeit identity documents, such as fake driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, or passports, for immigration fraud or other criminal activity. Document fraud also includes efforts to obtain genuine identity documents through fraudulent means. These activities have helped illegal aliens, criminals and even terrorists evade detection and embed themselves in our society. Document fraud often supports the crime of benefit fraud.

If convicted on the charges, RUIZ-HERNANDEZ could be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not more than fifteen years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and supervised release of three years.

A criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt. All persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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