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Press Release

Raleigh Man Sentenced to More than Four Years in Prison for Identity Theft Conspiracy Involving the Fraudulent Financing of Multiple Vehicles Totaling More than $1 Million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Raleigh, North Carolina man, Basilio Rafael Garcia, was sentenced to 54 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.  On May 11, 2023, Garcia pleaded guilty to the charges. 

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Garcia conspired with others to unlawfully transfer, possess, and use the identities and personal identifying information of Puerto Rico residents to finance and purchase more than $1 million worth of vehicles and watercraft from dealerships in the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina. 

“This defendant ran a scam to buy high-end luxury cars using other people’s credit.  He was driven by greed and greed alone,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Identity theft like this can leave victims with ruined credit and dire financial straits.  We are prosecuting the fraudsters and reminding consumers to protect themselves by securing personal identifying information and monitoring credit reports regularly for suspicious activity.”

According to the investigation by the United States Secret Service and local law enforcement, Garcia traveled from Raleigh to Columbia, South Carolina and used the stolen identifying information of a Puerto Rico victim to apply for and obtain a South Carolina identification card.  The supporting documents that Garcia provided to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles included a Social Security card and a purported Puerto Rican birth certificate in the victim’s name, as well as a counterfeit bank statement.  Based on the false information provided, Garcia successfully obtained a South Carolina identification card with his photograph but the victim’s identifiers.  On the following day, Garcia used the identification card and the victim’s personal information, including his Social Security number and credit report, to finance the purchase of Honda dirt bike from a dealership in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The defendant subsequently used the same victim’s identity to fraudulently finance the purchase of multiple vehicles from dealerships in the Raleigh and Durham areas, including two Jeep Wranglers, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a BMW X5, and a Range Rover. A search warrant was later executed at Garcia’s residence, during which officers recovered drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, and vehicle titles in the names of other people. Raleigh-based law enforcement officers have recovered some of the vehicles working with counterparts in other states. 

Two of Garcia’s co-conspirators in the case, Jarlin Javier Sanchez and Warlin Mateo-Tejeda, were previously sentenced to prison following their guilty pleas.

Michael Easley, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The United States Secret Service, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted the case for the government.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-CR-48-D.

Updated October 5, 2023

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft