Springfield Man Arrested for Identity Theft and Theft of Social Security Benefits
BOSTON – A Dominican man living in Springfield was charged and arrested today for using an American citizen’s identity to obtain over $100,000 in Social Security benefits.
Bartolo Ramirez, 48, was charged with falsely representing a Social Security number and theft of public money. He is detained pending a detention and probable cause hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.
According to the criminal complaint, Ramirez was born in the Dominican Republic, entered the United States as a stowaway in 1990, and was apprehended by authorities. He was allowed to leave the United States voluntarily in 1993. By 2007, Ramirez had returned to the United States and settled in Springfield, Mass., where he obtained a Social Security card and state ID card using the name and Social Security number of an American citizen. In 2008, Ramirez applied for Social Security disability benefits under the American citizen’s identity, and collected more than $100,000 in benefits. Ramirez also used the American citizen’s name when he was arrested in Massachusetts in 2012 in an unrelated case.
The charge of misrepresenting a Social Security number provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of theft of public money provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations; William Squires, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigation, Northeast Field Office; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Landry of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.