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Document and Benefit Fraud

Brazilian man sentenced to 3 years for passport fraud, aggravated identity theft and tax fraud

PHILADELPHIA — A Brazilian national, illegally living in Miami and transiting through Philadelphia from Germany, was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for passport fraud, aggravated identify theft and tax fraud. The sentence is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Marco Antonio Rolim Freitas, 59, was sentenced to three years in federal prison on the charges.

"HSI special agents, working with our law enforcement partners are determined to bring these criminals to justice," said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "Fraudulent documents may be used to obtain financial benefits and entitlements that are intended for U.S. citizens, and also threatens our national security."

Court documents from the HSI investigation revealed that Freitas arrived at Philadelphia International Airport from Germany April 11, 2012, and presented a U.S. passport in the name of Luis Felipe Cintron.

He was admitted into the U.S. by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer and selected for secondary inspection. CBP discovered numerous identification documents in Freitas' baggage. Freitas was fingerprinted and discovered to have entered the country on a B-2 visa in 1997 and remained in the U.S. illegally.

Freitas was interviewed by HSI special agents and admitted that he was not a U.S. citizen and that he had purchased identity documents for the purpose of obtaining a U.S. passport. He also admitted his involvement in a credit card scheme in which he used the identities of others to file fraudulent tax returns.

In August 2012, Freitas pleaded guilty to the charges.

Freitas will be deported from the United States at the conclusion of his criminal sentence.