Feds Bust Six In Alleged RMV Identity Fraud Scheme To Benefit Illegal Immigrants

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2017/08/02/feds-bust-six-in-alleged-rmv-identity-fraud-scheme-to-benefit-illegal-immigrants/

BOSTON — Federal investigators have busted up a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles scheme they say involves four state workers now charged with “aggravated identity theft” after they allegedly created false identification documents for illegal aliens, among other actions.

Prosecutors say the scheme, announced Wednesday by the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office, was carried out at the Haymarket RMV in downtown Boston and involved clerks creating false identities and addresses that were subsequently used to commit voter fraud within the city.

The investigation began in October 2015 after Massachusetts State Police received an anonymous letter alleging that “an employee by the name of Evelyn Medina” had been using her job at the Haymarket RMV “to provide personal information to people within her community,” according to an affidavit submitted July 24 by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Anthony P. Russo Jr..

Russo states in his affidavit that he used an informant to learn more information about the practices occurring at the Haymarket RMV. Medina, 56, identified in court documents as “a national of the Dominican Republic and a citizen of the United States,” allegedly made hundreds of Social Security Number queries “with no transaction activity associated with them.”

The scheme, according to court documents, involved a document dealer identified as 41-year-old Bivian Yohanny Brea of Boston and a 32-year-old document vendor referred to as “Flako” but also identified  under multiple aliases, including “Miguel,” “Pablo D. Gonzalez Lopez,” and “Rafael R. Bonano.”

Flako sold Puerto Rican birth certificates and U.S. Social Security cards to Brea, while Brea in turn sold stolen identities “to clients seeking legitimate identities in Massachusetts,” court documents state.

“These clients included illegal aliens, individuals who were previously deported, and an individual who admitted to previously facing drug charges,” the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

After the transaction for false identification papers was completed, investigators allege, Brea then used the counterfeit documents and false IDs to “fraudulently register the clients to vote in the city of Boston.”

The RMV clerks’ roles, according to investigators, involved the four clerks — Medina; Annette Gracia, 37, of Boston; Kimberly C. “Shakia” Jordan, 33; of Randolph; and David Brimage, 46, of Boston — accepting the stolen identities from Brea and receiving cash in exchange for issuing authentic Massachusetts driver’s licenses and IDs. The clerks, the Justice Department claims, also received cash in exchange for using RMV computers to run queries — including checks on Social Security numbers — “to confirm that the identities the clients were stealing actually belonged to verifiable individuals.”

It is still unclear how many Massachusetts residents have been adversely affected by the alleged scheme.

Details from Russo’s July 24 affidavit, which were unsealed on Wednesday, also indicate that “Flako” told an informant he had previously been deported for selling 1.5 kilograms of cocaine but manage to reenter the United States by using a fraudulent Puerto Rico ID. In a footnote within his affidavit Russo noted that through his training and experience, he has discovered “that individuals frequently utilize Puerto Rico Documents and/or Personally Identifiable Information stolen from United States Citizens due to the fact United States Citizens from Puerto Rico are of Hispanic descent.”

Meanwhile, Russo claims at one point during the investigation he watched security camera footage showing Medina and “Flako” completing a transaction inside the Haymarket RMV, and then saw them with his own eyes meeting outside the building.

In addition, he reviewed footage that purportedly showed “Flako” receiving an automatically-generated customer number that directed him to another clerk’s counter, only to be re-directed seconds later to Medina’s counter.

According to court documents, Medina completed at least 23 transactions with Flako, and issued state identification papers to at least “18 imposters using Puerto Rico identities” while issuing at least one ID card to a Dominican national who illegally re-entered the United States.

Medina also reversed another Dominican national’s suspended license status, court documents state.

Similar dealings also took place between “Flako,” Brea, and the other three clerks, according to Russo’s affidavit.

The six individuals who prosecutors say were involved in the scheme were arraigned Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Boston. Aggravated identity theft, according to the Justice Department, carries a two-year minimum sentence. Officials say the investigation into the scheme continues.

The arrests occurred about a week after a spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin reaffirmed to the New Boston Post that Massachusetts will not work with a White House task force requesting voter data to investigate voter fraud allegations.

 

[Editor’s Note:  See New Boston Post’s view:  How Many Illegal Immigrants Are Getting Fake IDs That Are Real? …]

 

Read the affidavit:

2017 07 24 Russo Affidavit by Evan on Scribd

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