BOSTON – A Worcester man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Worcester to Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Jose Lopez Rosado, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Oct. 31, 2019. Lopez Rosado was arrested and charged in a July 2018 federal law enforcement sweep of 25 individuals accused of document and benefit fraud.
According to court documents, the defendant escaped from prison in Puerto Rico in 1994 while serving a 40-year sentence for second degree murder. He is currently in state custody on unrelated charges. His true identity was not known until he was arrested in July 2018.
Dubbed “Double Trouble,” the July 2018 investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), comprised of local, state and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity and benefit fraud schemes.
On Feb. 9, 2016, Lopez Rosado applied for a duplicate Massachusetts driver’s license using the name and Social Security number of another U.S. citizen. Based on the application, Lopez Rosado was issued a duplicate driver’s license in the name of the other U.S. citizen. Lopez Rosado also used that name and Social Security number to receive MassHealth benefits.
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. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, one year 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 other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Jason Molina, Acting 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; Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office; Michael Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; William B. Gannon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump made the announcement. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.