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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Ghanaian National Arrested for Identity Theft

BOSTON - A Ghanaian national was arrested yesterday and charged in federal court in Worcester with illegal possession of identification documents and aggravated identity theft.

Yaw Okyere, 33, a citizen of Ghana residing in Worcester, was charged by criminal complaint with being illegally in possession of five or more identification documents and aggravated identity theft. Okyere appeared before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy, who ordered Okyere detained pending a probable cause and detention hearing scheduled for March 13, 2018.

According to court documents, on March 7, 2018, federal agents executed a search warrant at Okyere’s apartment in Worcester, where they seized computers and a printer. An initial forensic review of one of the computers revealed files containing more than 190 Massachusetts driver’s licenses with various names and photographs.

During the execution of the search warrant, agents interviewed Okyere, who stated that he was a citizen of Ghana, had arrived in the United States a few years earlier on a visa, that he had overstayed his visa, and was unsure of his immigration status.

The charge of illegally possessing five or more identification documents provides for a sentence of no greater than 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed by the sentencing court. 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; Raymond Moss, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the complaint 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 March 8, 2018