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Document and Benefit Fraud
11/19/2012

Operation Game Over nets 13 arrests for document fraud and identity theft

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Thirteen individuals indicted for document fraud and identity theft related charges were arrested Friday in the municipalities of Bayamon, San Juan and Carolina, Puerto Rico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, worked jointly with the Internal Revenue Service, Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and San Juan Police Department (SJPD) officers in an operation dubbed Game Over.

"Document and identity fraud pose a severe threat to national security and public safety because they create a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States," said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "HSI has partnered with federal, state and local counterparts to create the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, a series of multi-agency teams developed to target criminal organizations and beneficiaries behind these fraudulent schemes."

The case involves a scheme to defraud the United States by fraudulently obtaining and converting to cash U.S. Treasury checks issued in connection with fraudulent tax returns filed with the agency. As part of the scheme, tax returns were filed using the personal identifying information of individuals, when in reality, said individuals never filed such tax returns with the IRS. The investigation has revealed that the fraudulent tax returns were filed without the consent of the taxpayers who appear in the returns.

The investigation also uncovered a scheme used by some of the defendants to obtain legitimate, counterfeit or altered Puerto Rico birth certificates, Social Security cards and driver's licenses to facilitate the movement of illegal aliens already in Puerto Rico to the continental United States.

Those arrested are:

  • Alexander Compres-Rubio
  • Raquel Custodio
  • Jose M. Vega-Rivera
  • Fernando Rosa
  • Nidia Muñoz
  • Eduvigis Rodriguez
  • Salustiano Olivo
  • Damaris Hernandez
  • Jose Javier Serrano
  • Wander Carrasco
  • Mercedes de la Cruz
  • Norwin Santana
  • Julio Peralta

ICE encourages the public to report document and benefit fraud and related information by calling 1-866-DHS-2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.