Skip to main content
Press Release

Lawrence Woman Sentenced in Conspiracy to Use Stolen Identities to Fraudulently Purchase Vehicles

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Lawrence woman was sentenced today for her role in a scheme to use the stolen identities of United States citizens from Puerto Rico to fraudulently purchase vehicles. 

Wanda Sanchez, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to two years of probation. In November 2023, Sanchez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and false representation of a Social Security number. 

In January 2019, Sanchez visited a Massachusetts car dealership in an attempt to purchase a late-model vehicle and applied for 100% financing. In support of the application, Sanchez provided stolen biographical information of a real United States citizen, along with a fraudulent Puerto Rico driver’s license and a Social Security card in that identity as proof of identification. When Sanchez’s co-defendant and then-boyfriend Ricardo Acevedo arrived at the dealership to obtain the vehicle, he was immediately taken into custody. In May 2023, Acevedo was sentenced to six years in prison after previously pleading guilty to his role in the conspiracy.

Sanchez is the fifth defendant to be sentenced in this case. Altogether, Sanchez and her co-conspirators fraudulently purchased at least 47 vehicles and over $270,000 in other merchandise using stolen identities, resulting in over $2 million in losses. The co-conspirators have been ordered to pay over $781,000 in restitution to victims who submitted claims.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Michael J. Krol, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England; John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Brockton Police Chief Brenda Perez made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill, Woburn and Dartmouth Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elianna J. Nuzum and Adam W. Deitch of the Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), a specialized investigative group comprising personnel from various state, local, and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring, and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity and benefit fraud schemes.

Updated March 12, 2024

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft