Dominican National Sentenced for Identity Theft Charges

Date: 
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts:

BOSTON – A Dominican national was sentenced today in connection with using the identity of a U.S. citizen.

Roberto Melo Guerrero, 39, a Dominican national who formerly resided in Lawrence, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 18 months in prison and one year of supervised release. Melo Guerrero was also ordered to pay restitution of $18,505 to MassHealth and to forfeit the same amount. He will face deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In July 2020, Melo Guerrero pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of making a false statement relating to a health care benefit program. Melo Guerrero was arrested in December 2019 and has been detained since that time.

Melo Guerrero used the name and identifiers of a U.S. citizen for at least 15 years, including to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and to apply for MassHealth benefits.  MassHealth then provided benefits valued at $18,505 to Melo Guerrero. In addition, on multiple occasions, Melo Guerrero was arrested and charged in Massachusetts with drug trafficking offenses under the name of this U.S. citizen.

The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), a specialized investigative group comprised of personnel from various state, local and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity and benefit fraud schemes.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Office; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Massachusetts State Police; HSI Attaché in the Dominican Republic; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.