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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 26, 2018

25 Charged in Federal Document and Benefit Fraud Sweep

Many defendants have criminal histories including a conviction for murder and drug charges

BOSTON – 25 individuals were charged today in federal court in Boston as a result of a federal sweep targeting offenders of document and benefit fraud. Many of the defendants have prior criminal histories, including a convicted murderer who escaped from prison in Puerto Rico in 1994 while serving a 40-year sentence. 21 of the alleged defendants are unlawfully present in the United States.

Dubbed “Double Trouble,” the investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), comprised of various local, state and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity and benefit fraud schemes. 

The DBFTF is currently investigating suspected aliens, predominately from the Dominican Republic, who are believed to have obtained stolen identities of United States citizens living in Puerto Rico and who have used those identities to obtain documents and public benefits that they would not otherwise be eligible to receive, such as Registry of Motor Vehicles identity documents, Social Security numbers, Medicaid, unemployment and public housing subsidies. Among other things, a comparison of public benefits records revealed the identities of numerous individuals who received public benefits in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts on or about the same date. 

Twenty-five individuals have been charged with various federal crimes. With the exception of four, all of the defendants are unlawfully present in the United States. 

  1. Alejandra Eulalia Baez Arias, 40, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  2. Saddan Rafael Bautista Diaz, 27, a Dominican national residing in Dorchester, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  3. Kelvin Bautista Valdez, 31, Dominican national residing in Lynn, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  4. Robert Crisologo Bobadilla Baez, 43, a Dominican national formerly residing in Mattapan, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number. Bobadilla Baez is already in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  5. Fernando Cedeno Carpio, 34, a Dominican national residing in Houston, Texas, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  6. Fausto Feliz Feliz, 39, a Dominican national residing in Malden, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  7. Luis Alberto Fernandez Fernandez, 27, a Dominican national residing in Salem with legal permanent resident status, was charged with one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  8. Domingo Garcia Suero, 54, a Dominican national formerly residing in Haverhill, was indicted in May 2018 on five counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm; two counts of false representation of a Social Security number; and one count of aggravated identity theft. Garcia Suero is already in federal custody.
  9. Santo Jesus Gonzalez Villar, 48, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  10. Ramon Lara Martinez, 45, a Dominican national residing in Hyde Park, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  11. Jose Lopez Rosado, 53, formerly residing in Worcester County, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.  According to court documents, the defendant escaped from prison in Puerto Rico in 1994 while serving a 40-year sentence for second degree murder. He is currently in state custody on unrelated charges.  His true identity was not known until now.
  12. Viterbo Enrique Minaya Melo, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number. Minaya Melo is currently in state custody.
  13. Ulises Francisco Mota Carmona, 35, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  14. Yhoan Alexis Nivar Rodriguez, 29, a Dominican national residing in Mattapan with legal permanent resident status, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  15. James Alfred Pena Guerrero, 30, a Dominican national residing in Dorchester, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  16. Ramona Maribel Perez Peguero, 38, a Dominican national residing in Lawrence, was charged with one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  17. Fiumen Alexis Pimentel, 47, a Dominican national residing in Hyde Park, was charged with identity fraud.
  18. Jose Mercedes Polanco Guerrero, 47, a Dominican national residing in Dorchester, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  19. Joaquin Ruiz Mota, 47, a Dominican national residing in Dorchester, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of misuse of a Social Security number.
  20. Carmen Sanchez Garcia De Martinez, 64, a Dominican and/or Venezuelan national residing in Springfield, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  21. Wanyer Manuel Soto Pimentel, 27, a Dominican national residing in Roslindale, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  22. Edward Elias Villar Ortiz, 42, a Dominican national residing in Brockton, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  23. John Doe, an individual residing in Roxbury whose true identity remains unknown, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft; one count of false representation of a Social Security number; and one count of theft of government funds.
  24. John Doe, an individual residing in Lynn whose true identity remains unknown, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
  25. John Doe, an individual residing in Revere whose true identity remains unknown, was charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of making a false statement in an application and use of a U.S. passport.

The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence that must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. False representation of a Social Security number provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of identity theft provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of theft of public funds provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions; United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office; Michael Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; William B. Gannon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office; Delany De Leon-Colon, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service Puerto Rico Violent Offender Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Burzycki, Christine Wichers, Patrick Callahan, and Rachel Hemani of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the cases.

The details contained in charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated July 26, 2018