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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sinking Spring, PA Man Sentenced 5 Years For Fraudulent Claims

Rafael Christopher Cirino, 36, of Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on Friday by the Hon. Edward G. Smith, United States District Judge, to a term of 60 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by supervised release for a period of 5 years, as well as a $1,700 special assessment,  announced United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen.  This conviction was the result of a collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in order to halt fraudulent claims for state benefits, mortgage fraud, and insurance fraud.

According to the indictment and guilty plea, between October 2016 and March 2017, Cirino submitted fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation benefits with the State of Pennsylvania using fictitious identities.  Cirino also submitted multiple fraudulent claims under insurance policies regarding business property that had allegedly been stolen.  Cirino further used the fictitious identity of one phantom employee of the business to submit multiple residential mortgage loan applications containing materially false information.  Last, Cirino possessed numerous hologram images depicting the seals of various States, in conjunction with blank plastic cards containing magnetic stripes and clear laminating film, suitable for fabricating false identification documents.

The sentence follows Cirino’s plea of guilty on October 18, 2017 to each of the counts contained in a pending Indictment charging him with four counts of mail fraud, two counts of fraudulent misrepresentation of a Social Security number, four counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements in a mortgage loan application, and a single count possession of an authentication feature, intending that the authentication feature be used in a false identification document.

“Rafael Cirino misused the identities of others to fraudulently obtain unemployment compensation benefits by engaging in a scheme to defraud the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry,” said Richard Deer, Special Agent-in-Charge, Philadelphia Region, and U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to safeguard unemployment compensation benefits programs.”

The case was investigated by the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Spring Township Police Department, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Internal Audits Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seth Schlessinger.

 

 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated March 22, 2018