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Justice News

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

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

R.I. Man Sentenced for Health Care and Welfare Fraud, Misuse of Social Security Numbers, ID Theft, Illegal Reentry

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Pawtucket man previously deported to his native Dominican Republic after being convicted and incarcerated for trafficking significant quantities of heroin and cocaine was sentenced today to 25 months in federal prison for reentering the United States illegally, and using the identity and Social Security number of another person to fraudulently obtain health care and welfare benefits.

Carlos Jose Portes-Ortiz, 38, 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, pleaded guilty on October 10, 2018, to health care fraud, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud, misuse of Social Security numbers, aggravated identity theft, and illegal reentry.

Portes-Ortiz was deported from the United States in February 2009, after completing a federal prison sentence imposed in June 2007 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.

The sentence imposed today by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Phillip Coyne, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations Scott E. Antolik, and Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General Bethanne M. Dinkins.

In March 2017, Portes-Ortiz was arrested in Dedham, Mass., after attempting to purchase more than $1,000 worth of iPhone and iPad 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 of the cards seized from Portes-Ortiz contained his photograph but all were in the names of others than his own.

It was later determined through fingerprints that the person arrested was actually Portes-Ortiz.

An investigation led by agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations determined that Portes-Ortiz used multiple names and stolen personal identifying information to gain Rhode Island ID cards, as well as the identity of another person to obtain Medicaid and health care benefits, including medical, pharmaceutical and dental services; and EBT cards and SNAP benefits.

The investigation revealed that Portes-Ortiz was employed at a retail store while, at the same time, fraudulently obtaining federal program benefits and services using a stolen identity and identifying information.

At sentencing, Portes-Ortiz was ordered to pay restitution of approximately $13,000.

Portes-Ortiz, has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on June 27, 2018. He faces deportation proceedings upon completion of his term of incarceration.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin and Terrence P. Donnelly.

The matter was 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.


Health Care Fraud
Identity Theft
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 26, 2019