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Press Release

Guatemalan Man Sentenced to 12 Months for Identity Theft Involving Employment and Bank Fraud

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

United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that Matias Garcia-Paiz, 49, of Guatemala, was sentenced today in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska for Use of an Immigration Document Not Lawfully Issued and for Bank Fraud.  Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Garcia-Paiz to 12 months’ imprisonment and ordered restitution in the amount of $2,133.64. There is no parole in the federal system.  After his release from prison, he will begin a 3-year term of supervised release. Garcia-Paiz will be deported by U.S. immigration authorities after completing his sentence of imprisonment.

On April 14, 2021, investigators received information concerning a complaint of identity theft filed by an out of state victim. The victim reported that his Social Security number was used for employment at Smithfield Foods in Omaha and that his name, date of birth, and Social Security number had also been used at Cobalt Federal Credit Union to obtain a vehicle purchase loan in the amount of $16,522. Investigators obtained the Nebraska Driver’s License number used with the victim’s Social Security for employment at Smithfield Foods.

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (NEDMV) fraud unit assisted with the investigation by providing photographs of the person to whom the Driver’s License was issued and confirmed that he had used the victim’s name and date of birth. A comparison of the victim’s biographical information with photographs from the NEDMV revealed the individual in the NEDMV photographs was an imposter.

On June 5, 2020, an individual matching Garcia-Paiz’s description provided the same Nebraska Driver’s License as proof of identification to secure a used vehicle purchase loan in the amount of $16,522. Cobalt Federal Credit Union, a federally insured financial institution, approved the loan for the purchase of a 2013 Nissan Murano.

On September 2, 2020, Garcia-Paiz completed a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification at Express Employment Professionals using the victim’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. The form showed that Garcia-Paiz provided the Driver’s License and a Social Security card bearing the victim’s SSN as proof of identity. 

On April 30, 2021, investigators arrested Garcia-Paiz upon locating the 2013 Nissan Murano registered under the victim’s name. Following Garcia-Paiz’s arrest investigators captured his fingerprints and photograph for digital comparison and verification of his identity.  That comparison matched Garcia-Paiz’s fingerprints to an existing FBI number and state identification card numbers issued in Georgia and Nebraska.

A review of records associated with the identification numbers found that U.S. immigration authorities arrested Garcia-Paiz using his true name on March 9, 1989 at or near Tucson, Arizona. The records further showed that Garcia-Paiz had been deported in 1989.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Omaha Police Department, and the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.

Updated January 25, 2022

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft