Dominican national pleads guilty to fraud in ICE HSI Boston document and benefit fraud case
BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud in federal court in Boston as the result of an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) federal Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force investigation into a conspiracy involving the use of fraudulent driver’s licenses to obtain the social security numbers of U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico on March 28. The plea was announced by Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Boston and United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling.
Wilkin Alexander Marte Baez, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number. Marte Baez was initially charged by indictment as a John Doe in federal court in Michigan, along with several others involved in a conspiracy to assist Dominican nationals with obtaining driver’s licenses using the identities of others. On Dec. 4, 2018, Marte Baez was arrested in Massachusetts; his case was transferred to federal court in Boston for plea and sentencing in February 2019.
On May 4, 2017, Marte Baez applied for a Michigan driver’s license using the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of a United States citizen from Puerto Rico. He supported his application with a counterfeit Puerto Rican birth certificate, a counterfeit Puerto Rican driver’s license, and a Social Security card in the United States citizen’s name. Based on the application and supporting identity documents, Marte Baez was issued a Michigan driver’s license in the United States citizen’s name.
Marte Baez faces a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Following sentencing , which was scheduled for May 9, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will commence proceedings to seek his removal from the United States.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elianna Nuzum of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts prosecuted the case in Boston after its transfer from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Michigan.
Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of identity theft, or wants information about preventing identity theft, may obtain helpful information and complaint forms on various government websites including the Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Website.