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Press Release

Mexican Man Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Identity Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man from Mexico illegally residing in the United States who stole the identity of a United States citizen was sentenced May 1, 2017, to three years in federal prison.


Francisco Hernandez-Espinoza, age 24, residing in Hampton, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 29, 2016, guilty plea to one count of misuse of a social security number and one count of aggravated identity theft.


During the plea hearing, Hernandez-Espinoza admitted that, on June 4, 2012, he illegally used the name and Social Security account number of a United States citizen to obtain employment in Clarion, Iowa. On November 3, 2016, Hernandez-Espinoza was arrested by immigration agents in Hampton, Iowa. At that time, Hernandez-Espinoza turned over to agents identification documents, including a birth certificate, all in the name of the U.S. citizen whose identity he knowingly used. During the sentencing hearing, Hernandez-Espinoza admitted that, between 2011 and 2015, he was convicted eight times in Iowa and Minnesota of using the name of the U.S. citizen, including after being arrested for criminal sexual conduct and domestic abuse assault.


Hernandez-Espinoza was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade. Hernandez-Espinoza was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment and fined $5,000. A special assessment of $200 was imposed. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.


Hernandez-Espinoza is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations.


Court file information at The case file number is 16-CR-2044-LRR.


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Updated May 10, 2017

Identity Theft