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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2015

Foreign National Indicted for Passport Fraud and Use of False Social Security Number To Obtain Unemployment Benefits

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Marco Antonio Lara-Gomez, 27, of Suisun City, charging him with making a false statement in an application for a U.S. passport and use of a false Social Security number, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Lara-Gomez is a Mexican national who fraudulently applied for a U.S. passport in 2007, using an identity theft victim’s name and birth certificate in connection with the application. Lara-Gomez received a passport and used it to travel to and from Mexico. Additionally, Lara-Gomez used the same victim’s identity, including his social security number, to apply for, and receive unemployment insurance benefits between 2010 and 2014.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and California’s Employment Development Department, with Assistance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Nirav Desai is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Lara-Gomez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Press Release Number: 
1:15-cr-137 JAM
Updated September 3, 2015