Leader of Identity Theft Conspiracy That Stole Nearly 50 Vehicles Sentenced to 8.5 Years in Prison
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A Haverhill man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for orchestrating schemes to use the stolen identities of United States citizens from Puerto Rico to fraudulently purchase vehicles and other merchandise and apply for and utilize bank accounts and credit cards.
Alvin Rivera, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to 102 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $389,141 in restitution to victims. In March 2023, Rivera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; two counts of wire fraud; three counts of aggravated identity theft; and three counts of false representation of a Social Security number in his District of Massachusetts case; he also pleaded guilty to a similar scheme originating in the District of New Jersey that was transferred to the District of Massachusetts for resolution.
Between October 2017 and September 2020, Rivera was the leader of a conspiracy in Massachusetts that used stolen identity information of United States citizens to obtain credit and goods. Under Rivera’s direction, and with stolen identity information that he provided, co-conspirators visited Massachusetts car dealerships to purchase late-model vehicles and applied for 100% financing. In support of the applications, the co-conspirators provided stolen biographical information from real United States citizens, fraudulent Puerto Rico driver’s licenses and Social Security cards in those identities, as proof of identification. The co-conspirators used the stolen identities to illegally open bank accounts and credit cards and purchase vehicles, many of which were exported out of the United States.
Between October 2017 and February 2018, Rivera also personally used stolen identity information of United States citizens to apply for credit and fraudulently purchase vehicles in a similar scheme in New Jersey.
Together, the co-conspirators fraudulently purchased at least 47 vehicles from dealerships in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey – obtaining over $2 million in cars and other merchandise using the stolen identities.
Following Rivera’s arrest, the investigation revealed that in 2020, Rivera also allegedly led a conspiracy that used stolen identity information of United States citizens to apply for and obtain over $450,000 in Economy Injury Disaster Loans, a form of pandemic relief, from the Small Business Administration. It is alleged that Rivera’s co-conspirators fraudulently opened bank accounts to receive those funds, laundered the funds and shared a portion of the profits with co-conspirators in the Dominican Republic. Multiple individuals have been arrested, charged, and pleaded guilty with respect to that conspiracy, and Rivera’s sentencing also took that conduct into account.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Michael J. Krol, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, in New England; John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Brockton Police Chief Brenda Perez made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey; and the Lowell, Lawrence, Methuen, Haverhill, Woburn and Dartmouth Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elianna J. Nuzum and Adam W. Deitch of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
The District of Massachusetts investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), a specialized investigative group comprising 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.
The District of New Jersey investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations.