25 Charged in Federal Document and Benefit Fraud Sweep

Date Published: 
July 30, 2018
News Type: 
Press Releases
Program Area(s): 
Public and Indian Housing

BOSTON – 25 individuals were charged today in federal court in Boston as a result of a federal sweep targeting offenders of document and benefit fraud. Many of the defendants have prior criminal histories, including a convicted murderer who escaped from prison in Puerto Rico in 1994 while serving a 40-year sentence. 21 of the alleged defendants are unlawfully present in the United States.

Dubbed “Double Trouble,” the investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), comprised of various local, state and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity and benefit fraud schemes.

The DBFTF is currently investigating suspected aliens, predominately from the Dominican Republic, who are believed to have obtained stolen identities of United States citizens living in Puerto Rico and who have used those identities to obtain documents and public benefits that they would not otherwise be eligible to receive, such as Registry of Motor Vehicles identity documents, Social Security numbers, Medicaid, unemployment and public housing subsidies. Among other things, a comparison of public benefits records revealed the identities of numerous individuals who received public benefits in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts on or about the same date...