Former Fall River Man Sentenced to Thirty -Two Months in Prison for Role in Nationwide Identity Theft Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, RI – A former Fall River resident was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with a nationwide conspiracy to open fraudulent driver accounts with rideshare and delivery service companies.
Caio Felipe Oliveira Dos Santos, 27, of Brazil, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 32 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. In October 2023, Dos Santos pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
From approximately January 2019 until April 2021, Dos Santos and others conspired to use stolen identities and/or falsified documents to open fraudulent driver accounts and/or rent or sell those accounts to individual drivers who might not otherwise qualify to drive for the rideshare or delivery services. Co-conspirators exploited referral bonus programs offered by the rideshare and delivery companies and used “bots” and GPS “spoofing” technology to increase the income earned from the companies. As a result of the scheme, Internal Revenue Service Forms 1099 were generated in victims’ names for income co-conspirators earned from the rideshare and delivery companies.
Dos Santos and his co-conspirators also used victims’ identifiers to apply for driver accounts with the rideshare and delivery companies, enabling Dos Santos and his co-conspirators to pass those companies’ required background checks and create driver accounts in victims’ names. At times, co-conspirators edited victims’ driver’s license images to display photos of the drivers renting or buying the fraudulent accounts in order to circumvent facial recognition technology that the rideshare and delivery companies used as a security measure. Dos Santos and his co-conspirators obtained victims’ names, dates of birth, driver’s license information, and/or Social Security numbers from co-conspirators and other sources, including sites on the Dark Net. They also obtained driver’s license images directly from victims, by photographing victims’ licenses while completing an alcohol delivery through one of the services.
Eighteen co-conspirators were indicted in connection with the scheme in May 2021. Fifteen of those defendants have been arrested, while three remain at large. Of those arrested, 14 have been convicted and sentenced. If you believe that you may be a victim of the allegations in this case, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/victim-and-witness-assistance-program/us-v-wemerson-dutra-aguiar-and-us-v-priscila-barbosa-et-al.
United States Attorney Zachary Cunha and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by Massachusetts State Police; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; National Crime Insurance Bureau; and the Concord, Lexington, Plymouth, Wilmington, Marlborough and Village of Rye Brook (N.Y.) Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristen A. Kearney and David M. Holcomb of the District of Massachusetts Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.
Mr. Cunha was assigned to oversee this matter by the Department of Justice upon recusal of the U.S Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
Updated January 30, 2024
Press Release Number: 24-08