Honduran National Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Identity Theft
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Allan Gomez-Zelaya (43, Honduras) has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft. Gomez-Zelaya faces a minimum mandatory penalty of two years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, E-Verify is a web-based system through which employers electronically confirm the employment eligibility of their employees. E-Verify is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The SSA and USCIS check the submitted information against the records of actual persons who are authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify is a voluntary program for employers and requires documents such as a Social Security number and photo identification of a prospective employee.
From at least 2018 through October 2022, Gomez-Zelaya used another person’s means of identification in order to defeat the E-Verify system and to commit the felony offenses of misuse of a Social Security number and false claim of United States citizenship for employment purposes.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, the United States Border Patrol, the Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.