Charlestown Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Identity Theft and Fraud Related to Unemployment Benefits

2 mins read
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

BOSTON – A Charlestown man living under a false identity was sentenced today in federal court in Boston on charges arising from his use of the name and Social Security number of a U.S. citizen.

An individual referred to as “John Doe” was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On Dec. 22, 2021, Doe pleaded guilty to one count of false statements on a United States passport application, one count of false representation of a Social Security number, three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

On or about March 31, 2020, Doe used the name and personally identifiable information (PII) of a Puerto Rican resident to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (MA DUA). On April 1, 2020, MA DUA approved the claim and began issuing benefits to Doe via a prepaid debit card, which he used for cash withdrawals at ATM machines and for the purchase of goods and services. As a result, from April through September 2020, Doe fraudulently received over $15,000 in UI benefits under the stolen identity.

In 2017, Doe used the victim’s Social Security number to apply for a duplicate driver’s license with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and, in 2010, used the victim’s name and PII to apply for a United States passport. Further investigation revealed that Doe had been using the victim’s name and personal identifiers since at least 2000 and, since 1992, he had provided at least four other names when he was arrested by police and to apply for and receive driver’s licenses.


United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Jonathan Davidson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Labor Racketeering and Fraud made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alathea Porter, Benjamin Saltzman and James Herbert of Rollins’ Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service together with Homeland Security’s Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), a specialized field investigative group comprised of personnel from 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.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.