BOSTON – A Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Yonelin Manuel Baez Soto, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of false representation of Social Security numbers and three counts of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Sept. 19, 2019. Baez Soto will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of any sentence imposed.
On Oct. 15, 2014, Oct. 17, 2014, and Aug. 4, 2015, Baez Soto applied for a Massachusetts learner’s permit and/or a Massachusetts identification card using the name, date of birth and Social Security number of a Puerto Rican born United States Citizen. In September 2018, law enforcement agents encountered Baez Soto when he was serving a sentence at Essex County Correctional Facility for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl in the Puerto Rican man’s identity. Baez Soto was identified from, among other things, a fingerprint match with a Dominican Republic identification document issued to him and bearing his photo.
The charge of 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 aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to run consecutive to any other term imposed, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon 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 Lindsey E. Weinstein of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.