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Press Release

Man Who Allegedly Used Stolen Identity of Deceased Individual to Work for Local Fire Department Arrested on Federal Charges

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

BOSTON – A man whose true identity is unknown was arrested yesterday for allegedly using the stolen identity of a deceased individual to obtain government-issued identification documents, employment, and professional certifications.

John Doe, age unknown, of Quincy, was charged with one count each of false statement in a passport application and aggravated identity theft. Following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday, Doe was ordered detained pending a hearing scheduled for May 29, 2024 at 2 p.m.

According to the charging documents, Doe used the name, date of birth and Social Security number the a victim who passed away in 2002 to obtain and use multiple government-issued identification documents in the victim’s name, including Massachusetts driver’s licenses as well as copies of the victim’s birth certificate and Social Security card. Using these documents, it is alleged that Doe posed as the victim to apply for employment as a paramedic, obtain an EMT-Basic Certification, attend and graduate from a Firefighting Academy, and obtain employment with the Melrose Fire Department. It is alleged that, in March 2023, Doe applied for a U.S. passport using the victim’s stolen identity. However, according to the charging documents, a passport application for the victim had already been executed by the victim’s mother in 1989. Therefore, a passport was not issued to Doe.

During the investigation, facial recognition allegedly identified a second Massachusetts driver’s license issued to Doe under the name of Truong Nguyen. According to the charging documents, Nguyen entered the United States from Vietnam in 1979 and was ordered deported in 1991 following a second-degree burglary conviction. According to court documents Nguyen was never physically deported to Vietnam. In 2010, Nguyen was arrested for embezzlement and larceny for allegedly stealing over $46,000 from the Norwell Firefighters Union while working as an officer for the union.

The charge of false statement in a passport application provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. 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 fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the United States Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Matthew O’Brien, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Boston Field Office; Quincy Police Chief Mark Kennedy; Melrose Police Chief Kevin M. Faller; Acting Melrose Fire Department Chief John White; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan; and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of the Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case. 

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

Updated May 24, 2024

Identity Theft