Taxpayers have been furious about the way illegal aliens use lax Puerto Rican rules and confusion from the hurricane devastation to game the system. Finally, the Department of Justice can make a report that they’re actually doing something about illegal aliens who snag the Social Security numbers of lawful and legitimate United States citizens then use them for nefarious purposes of their own. Like the way Barry Soetoro is using the one assigned to Harrison J. Bounel.
A report of success
A Dominican national, 57-year-old Juan Baez, has been skulking in the shadows of Roslindale, Massachusetts, near Boston, using the stolen Social Security number of an unnamed “Puerto Rican citizen.” The same scam has been running for years and has gotten totally out of control.
Finally the DOJ can report that they are doing something about it. Baez pleaded guilty in a Boston Federal court on Thursday, June 10, to charges of Social Security Fraud and making false statements.
The fraud charge was “one count of false representation of a Social Security number.” The other was “one count of making a false statement relating to health care matters.” District Court Judge William G. Young wants to see Baez back in court for sentencing on October 4.
According to the report released to the press, “Baez used the identity of a Puerto Rican citizen to obtain Massachusetts driver’s licenses and identification cards.” That’s a no-no. “He also used the identity to apply for and receive MassHealth benefits.” The taxpayers are furious.
According to the report, for eleven years, from “Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2019, Baez fraudulently received approximately $18,977 in federally funded MassHealth benefits he was not entitled to by using the victim’s identity.” As noted in the press release, the “charge of false representation of a Social Security number provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.”
The penalty for the other charge is just as stiff. “The charge of making a false statement relating to health care matters provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.” Judge Young gets to decide the fate of Baez personally but he has to stay within “the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”
A rampant problem
In a report that came out in October of 2019, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling declared, its “a rampant problem.” His office was working “dozens of identity theft cases involving undocumented immigrants.” They all followed the same disturbing pattern.
“Many of the cases involve Dominicans accused of stealing the identities of U.S. citizens in neighboring Puerto Rico to illegally gain entry into the United States.” One Massachusetts town is especially vulnerable. “The city of Lawrence, with its sizable Dominican community, is a hot-spot for such cases,” Lelling explained.
“There’s a limitless number of illegal Dominican immigrants coming into the Lawrence area and other parts of Massachusetts, who either bought or stole a Puerto Rican U.S. identity on the way here, or when they get here.”
The report goes on to outline how once they have the ID, they sign up for food stamps. “The problem is we have a lot of people here with fake IDs who are taking advantage of government services, whether it be health care or unemployment benefits.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, black market deals were the only way to get anything, from food to electricity. That’s how the strip club ended up being the first building that power was restored to. As noted in the 2019 report, there “are active operations in Puerto Rico where you can just buy someone else’s identification.
They buy the name and Social Security number of an actual person, which they use to get an ID.” A case very similar to that of Mr. Baez gives an idea what he might look forward to. Daniel Morillo was charged with the same crimes and “was sentenced to a year in prison and will be subject to deportation when released.”