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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Venezuelan National Pleads Guilty To Identity Theft and Passport Fraud

BOSTON – A Venezuelan national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to one count of passport fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Jose Antonio Rojas Marchan, 54, a Venezuelan national who resided in Lawrence until his arrest in September, pleaded guilty to one count of passport fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for July 11, 2019. Rojas Marchan was originally charged in September 2018 as “John Doe,” while law enforcement worked to determine his true identity.

In November 2014, Rojas Marchan applied for a U.S. passport at a Lawrence Post Office purporting to be a U.S. citizen. On the application, he represented that the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of a Puerto Rican man were his, even though he knew they belonged to someone else. He supported the application with a Puerto Rican birth certificate and Massachusetts driver’s license in the U.S. citizen’s name. His application was flagged for additional review due to indicators of fraud, and was ultimately denied.

The charge of 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 up to $250,000. The charge of passport fraud provides for no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised released and a fine of up to $250,000. Rojas Marchan will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. 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 and William B. Gannon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elianna Nuzum of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated March 14, 2019