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Press Release

Undocumented Mexican Citizen Sentenced To Two Years In Federal Prison For Aggravated Identity Theft

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

Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis today sentenced Armando Amaya-Lopez (36, Vera Cruz, Mexico) to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. Amaya-Lopez had pleaded guilty on April 27, 2022.

According to court documents, on August 6, 2013, Amaya-Lopez went to a tax collector’s office in Tampa and applied for and obtained a Florida identification card in the name of a person with the initials C.M. When he applied for the identification card, he claimed to be a U.S. citizen and he provided as proof of citizenship a birth certificate from Puerto Rico and a Social Security card, each in the name of C.M. The birth certificate and Social Security card set forth true identifiers for C.M., including his name, date of birth, and Social Security Number (SSN).

On September 27, 2013, Amaya-Lopez went to a tax collector’s office in Ft. Myers and applied for a driver license, again identifying himself as C.M. He passed the driving examination and was issued a driver license in the name of C.M. On July 25, 2018, he went to a tax collector’s office in Jacksonville and obtained a replacement driver license in the name of C.M.

Each time that Amaya-Lopez obtained a Florida identification card or driver license, he signed a digital application affirming under penalty of perjury that his name was C.M., that he was a citizen of the United States, and that the other identifiers that he had provided, such as his date of birth and SSN, were in fact his. When he did so, he knew that the identifiers belonged to another person and that he was not lawfully authorized to possess or use the identifiers.

On December 5, 2021, Amaya-Lopez was arrested by officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, at which time he identified himself as C.M. and provided the driver license he had obtained in that name. However, a fingerprint check revealed his true identity and returned records reflecting that he was a Mexican citizen who was illegally present in the United States. During an interview with law enforcement, Amaya-Lopez admitted his true name and citizenship and said that he had paid $1,000 to an unknown person to obtain false U.S. citizen documents.

“Identity theft robs unsuspecting victims of their personal information and financial security,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “HSI, alongside our partners at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, will diligently seek out those hiding under stolen identities and bring them to justice.”     

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.

Updated August 15, 2022

Identity Theft