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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced To Federal Prison After Living Under An Assumed Identity For Nearly 18 Years

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

Tampa, Florida– Chief U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday today sentenced Luilly Rafael Almonte Hiciano (48, St. Pete Beach) to four years and three months in federal prison for aggravated identity theft and lying to the United States government. The court also ordered Hiciano to pay restitution to the victim of the offense.

Hiciano had pleaded guilty on February 8, 2019, to one count of aggravated identity theft and two counts of lying to the United States government. As part of the plea agreement, Hiciano agreed that he may be removed from the United States and denied immigration benefits in the future.

According to court documents, Hiciano attempted to move to the United States in 1999, but was denied a visa to enter. Nevertheless, he moved to the United States and assumed the identity of an unsuspecting U.S. citizen, which Hiciano used for approximately 18 years until his arrest in 2018. Hiciano used the victim’s identity to obtain two U.S. Passports, driver licenses, and three Social Security cards. In addition, between 2004 and 2010, Hiciano served approximately 3 ½ years in jail for crimes he had committed using the victim’s identity.

“The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to making sure that those who commit passport fraud face consequences for their criminal actions,” said Frederick R. Stolper, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Miami Field Office. “The strong relationship we enjoy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies around the world is vital towards ensuring the integrity of U.S. travel documents and protecting greater U.S. interests.”

“Illegal aliens who commit identity theft and fraudulently acquire U.S. passports are a threat to our nation’s security,” said Homeland Security Investigations Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “The U.S. passport is one of the most valuable travel documents in the world and HSI places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud.”

This case was investigated by the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel George.

Updated May 14, 2019

Identity Theft