DOJ Seal

Defendant allegedly served more than 20 years in federal prison in U.S. citizen’s name

BOSTON – A Southbridge man whose true identity is unknown was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston today on charges of making false statements in an application for a U.S. passport, aggravated identity theft and false statements in a health care matter. It is alleged that Doe has used and maintained the identity of a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico for 36 years.

John Doe, whose true identity is unknown, was indicted on one count of making false statements in an application for a U.S. passport, one count of aggravated identity theft, and two counts of false statements in a health care matter. Doe was charged by complaint. An arraignment date has not yet been set.

According to the charging documents, in January 2018, Doe allegedly submitted an application for a United States passport by representing himself as a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico. He provided the U.S. citizen’s name, place of birth, and Social Security number. The Social Security number Doe provided did not, however, match the individual’s name he was representing as his own.

In support of his passport application, Doe allegedly provided a copy of a birth certificate issued to the victim whose identity he was representing as his own, an expired U.S. passport issued in 1988, an inmate’s identity card issued by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the victim’s name, a Federal Probation Department urinalysis card in the victim’s name, and a letter from a U.S. Probation Officer Assistant indicating that Doe is currently on Federal Supervised Release.

The passport application and documents were sent to the Boston Passport Agency and subsequently referred to the Fraud Prevention Unit. It was then determined that the Social Security number submitted with the application was valid, but did not match the victim’s name Doe used in his application. On further review, it was determined that the Social Security number used on Doe’s previous passport application from 1988 was in fact a fraudulent number that had never been issued by the Social Security Administration.

Further investigation revealed that Doe, who is on lifetime parole, has four different names, four different dates of birth, and three different Social Security numbers associated with him. Doe has an extensive criminal record dating back to the 1970s. At one time, Doe owned an auto body shop in New York that was used to install electronic hidden compartments in cars to conceal money and cocaine trafficked from Colombia.

According to the indictment returned today, the government further alleges that Doe used this same identity on two MassHealth applications, one on June 10, 2015, and one on Oct. 31, 2018.

The passport fraud charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two year prison sentence to run consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and a fine of $250,000. The charge of false statement in a health care matter provides for sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and William B. Gannon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Weinstein of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law

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