City of Miami Resident Sentenced to More Than 4 Years in Prison for Possessing 242 Stolen Identities Used in Unemployment and Tax Fraud Schemes
A City of Miami resident was sentenced to 51 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for possessing 242 stolen identities used in unemployment and tax fraud schemes.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Miami Office, and Steve Steinberg, Chief, Aventura Police Department, made the announcement.
Yordan Gorotiza, 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck to 51 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, a $200 special assessment, and $33,608 in restitution, stemming from his conviction on one count of possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices (Social Security numbers) with intent to defraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
According to court documents, during a traffic stop of Gorotiza’s vehicle, law enforcement officers found Gorotiza in possession of (among other items) four Florida unemployment cards in the names of other individuals; 26 Visa gift cards; a Florida driver’s license with Gorotiza’s picture but with another individual’s name; and a book bag containing personal identifying information (PII) of 242 different people, including employment records from a business and patient data sheets from a hospital. Several of the sheets contained handwritten driver's license numbers and markings commonly used to represent tax or unemployment benefits filings.
Records from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity show that between October 1, 2013 and July 11, 2014, at least 64 of the victims had their personal information used without authorization to obtain unemployment benefits, including the victims whose unauthorized unemployment cards Gorotiza possessed during the traffic stop. The total actual loss to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity was $33,608, and the total intended loss attributable to Gorotiza was $281,009.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, DOL-OIG, the Aventura Police Department and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya R. Long.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.