Former Owner and Operator of Norfolk Dermatology Practice Sentenced for Stealing Over $310,000 in Government Benefits
BOSTON – A Dominican national living in Peabody was sentenced to jail today on charges that he used the identity of another man to obtain unemployment benefits.
Renato De La Cruz, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 25 months in prison and ordered to pay $33,164 in restitution to the state and federal governments. In June 2014, De La Cruz was convicted following a three-day jury trial of theft of public money, use of a falsely-obtained social security number, and aggravated identity theft.
In 1993, De La Cruz entered the country illegally and purchased the identifying information of a Dominican man who was living lawfully in New York City. De La Cruz used that information to obtain a Social Security Number and then moved to Massachusetts. As an illegal alien, he was not authorized to work, but he used the Dominican man’s identity to do so. Then, between June 2011 and October 2012, De La Cruz used the Dominican man’s identity to obtain unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations; Cheryl Garcia, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, New York Regional Office; and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, New York Field Office, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Brian Pérez-Daple and Robert E. Richardson of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.