New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty in Conspiracy to Use Stolen Identities to Fraudulently Purchase Vehicles
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A New Jersey man pleaded guilty today to his role in a scheme to use the stolen identities of United States citizens from Puerto Rico to fraudulently purchase vehicles and other merchandise and apply for and utilize bank accounts and credit cards.
Jose Irizarry, 46, of Union City, N.J., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and false representation of a Social Security number. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2023.
The defendant and multiple co-defendants were charged by criminal complaint in September 2020 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2020. In a coordinated multi-jurisdictional effort, Irizarry was also charged in the State of New Jersey, and others involved in the scheme were also charged there, in the District of New Jersey, the Northern District of Ohio and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
According to charging documents, between October 2017 and January 2019, Irizarry visited Massachusetts car dealerships to purchase late-model vehicles and applied for 100% financing. In support of the applications, the defendant provided stolen biographical information of real United States citizens, fraudulent Puerto Rico driver’s licenses and Social Security cards in those identities, as proof of identification. The defendant used the stolen identities to illegally open bank accounts and credit cards and purchase vehicles, many of which were exported out of the United States. Irizarry was charged with using stolen identities to obtain car loans and purchase three cars worth $140,124, collectively.
The charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence that must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of false representation of a Social Security number provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Matthew B. Millhollin, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Brockton Police Chief Brenda Perez made the announcement today. Assistance was provided by the Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill, Woburn and Dartmouth Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elianna Nuzum and Adam Deitch of Rollins’ 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.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated January 6, 2023