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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Former Department Of Public Safety Employee And Co-conspirators Plead Guilty To Identity Theft Charges

Hattiesburg, Miss - Former Mississippi Department of Public Safety employee Yolanda Jean Perkins, 48, of Laurel, Lorena Gomez, 33, of Laurel, and Jose Martel Rivera, 32, an illegal alien from Mexico, all pled guilty in federal court on August 18, 2014, to conspiracy to commit identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Raymond Parmer, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations.

The conspiracy involved the sale by Gomez and Rivera of authentic Texas birth certificates with matching social security cards to illegal aliens, and the subsequent purchase of Mississippi drivers’ licenses and state IDs, with the assistance of Perkins who worked at the Laurel driver’s license bureau.

“Fraudulent documents threaten the security of all citizens by making it easier for criminals to commit a range of offenses from identity theft to potential terrorism,” said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans. “Further, this scheme created a nightmare scenario in which citizens could have been held responsible for driving infractions or criminal acts committed by aliens possessing fraudulent identity documents in their names. These criminals willingly stole identities and threatened national security all in the name of a quick buck. These guilty pleas show HSI and its state partners will continue to investigate and seek prosecution of these cases wherever they occur.” Parmer oversees a five-state area of operations to include Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

The defendants will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett on October 27, 2014. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine.

This case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams is prosecuting the case.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at:

(866) 720-5721

You can also fax information to:

(225) 334-4707

or e-mail it to:

disaster@leo.gov


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Updated January 7, 2015