CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged nine individuals in an indictment related to the trafficking of real, Puerto Rican identities in the Cincinnati area. Defendants were arrested in Cincinnati and in Puerto Rico today.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, Christopher White, Assistant Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Marlon Miller, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Elias Papoulias, Resident Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General announced the indictment and arrests.
The indictment alleges that the defendants are linked in a vast document trafficking organization, wherein defendants obtained birth certificates and Social Security cards in the names of real individuals from Puerto Rico, shipped those document sets to Southern Ohio and then sold the document sets in the Cincinnati area. The defendants allegedly sold the document sets for $900-$1200 each.
The defendants include:
Each of the defendants was charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The indictment also includes 29 counts of aggravated identity theft, a crime punishable by a mandatory two years imprisonment for each count, and two counts of money laundering, which each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by law enforcement, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica W. Knight and Cincinnati Branch Chief Emily N. Glatfelter, who are prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.