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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dominican National Charged with Identity Theft

Defendant stole identity of U.S. Army Specialist

Boston – A Dominican national, who recently resided in Mattapan, was indicted today in federal court in Boston on charges including identity theft.

Maissel Avalo-Mejia, 29, was indicted on one count of misuse of a Social Security number and one count of aggravated identity theft. Avalo-Mejia was arrested last month and charged by criminal complaint.

According to court documents, Avalo-Mejia used the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of a Puerto Rican man, who is presently a Specialist in the U.S. Army, to obtain several Massachusetts driver’s licenses, the most recent issued on April 10, 2014. Avalo-Mejia was identified, among other things, from a fingerprint match with a Dominican Republic identification document issued to him and bearing his photo. It is alleged that Avalo-Mejia admitted that he was born in the Dominican Republic.

The charging statute for misuse 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 up to $250,000.  The charging statute for aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra S. Bower of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

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

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated July 12, 2018