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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Illegal Alien Detained on Health Care and Welfare Fraud, ID Theft, Misuse Social Security Numbers, Illegal Reentry Charges

PROVIDENCE, RI – A series of ongoing Department of Justice led fraud and opioid investigations across the country has resulted in a Dominican National previously deported for trafficking significant quantities of heroin and cocaine, and most recently living in Pawtucket after allegedly reentering the country illegally, being detained on federal health care fraud, welfare fraud, aggravated identity theft, misuse of a social security number and illegal reentry charges.

In late June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar III, announced that more than 600 individuals in 58 districts have been charged for their participation in fraud schemes, particularly health care fraud schemes.

As a result of information developed during these ongoing investigations, Carlos José Portes-Ortiz, a.k.a. Juan Carlos Mendieta Vega, a.k.a. Anthony Clausell Rivera, a.k.a. Jose Jimenez Agosto, a.k.a. Willian Acevedo Gil, a.k.a. Allison Gabriel, 37, of Pawtucket, has been ordered detained on a federal criminal complaint charging him with health care fraud, welfare (SNAP) fraud, misuse of social security numbers, aggravated identity theft and illegal reentry.

According to court documents, it is alleged that Portes-Ortiz was deported from the United States in February 2009, after having been sentenced in June 2007 to 37 months in federal prison for conspiracy to import 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine. Portes-Ortiz was arrested in June 2005 at Newark Liberty International Airport after arriving from the Dominican Republic.

According to court documents, in November 2015, Providence Police responded to a traffic accident and encountered Portes-Ortiz, who allegedly presented officers with a Dominican driver’s license in the name of another person. He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and driving after denial, suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.

In March 2017, Portes-Ortiz was arrested in Dedham, MA, after allegedly attempting to purchase over $1,000 worth of iPhone equipment using a driver’s license depicting his photograph and a credit card both in the name of a female. At the time of his arrest, Portes-Ortiz was found to be in possession of a Rhode Island Neighborhood Health Plan card, a Rhode Island EBT card for SNAP benefits, a Rhode Island identification card, a Puerto Rican driver’s license and a bank debit card, some depicting his photograph but all in names other than his own. It was later determined through fingerprints that the person arrested was actually Portes-Ortiz.

According to court documents, an expansive investigation by local agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations determined that Portes-Ortiz allegedly used multiple names and stolen personal identifying information to gain Rhode Island driver’s licenses; Rhode Island ID cards; Medicare and health care benefits, to include medical, pharmaceutical and dental services; and EBT cards and SNAP benefits.

During the course of the investigation, agents determined that Portes-Ortiz was employed at a retail store while, at the same time, allegedly fraudulently obtaining federal programs and services using stolen identities and identifying information.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin Terrence P. Donnelly.

The matter is being investigated by agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; Homeland Security Investigations - Immigration and Custom Enforcement; U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.

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Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Identity Theft
Immigration
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
18-85
Updated July 11, 2018