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Dominican National Sentenced for Social Security Misuse and Making False Statement

September 16, 2021


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

BOSTON – A Dominican national was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for false representation of a Social Security number and making a false statement relating to health care matters.

Ronald Lara Pena, 35, a Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Lara Pena will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. On July 21, 2021, Lara Pena pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of making a false statement relating to health care matters.

Lara Pena used the identity of a Puerto Rican citizen to obtain Massachusetts driver’s licenses and identification cards and used the victim’s identity to apply for and fraudulently receive over $12,600 in federally funded MassHealth benefits between September 2015 and September 2020.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Jack Jermaine, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Boston Field Office; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Regional Office; 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.

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