Dominican National Sentenced for Stealing Government Benefits and Making False Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
BOSTON – A Dominican national, formerly residing in Lynn, was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for theft of government money and making a false statement on an application for Social Security benefits.
Rafael Bautista Abreu, 63, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to 18 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Bautista Abreu was also ordered to pay restitution of $15,840 to MassHealth and of $12,222 to the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. Bautista Abreu will face deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence.
In February 2021, Bautista Abreu pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of government money and one count of making a false statement on an application for Social Security benefits.
Bautista Abreu unlawfully used the identity of a U.S. citizen for at least 12 years, during which time he fraudulently received public assistance benefits to which he was not entitled. He stole approximately $15,840 in MassHealth benefits from October 2008 to July 2016, and $12,222 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (previously known as Food Stamps) from September 2009 to July 2016. Additionally, in July 2019, Bautista Abreu used the stolen identity when he applied for benefits with the Social Security Administration.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Tonya Perkins, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Boston Field Office; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.