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Document and Benefit Fraud

2 sentenced in identity fraud scheme

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The last two of ten defendants apprehended for conspiracy to commit identity theft and sale of fraudulent Social Security cards were sentenced in federal court this week, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Enrique Martinez-Flores, 49, of Mexico, was sentenced to the maximum of 60 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett determined Martinez-Flores was a leader of the ID theft ring while he was in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for an identity theft conviction from the Southern District of Alabama.

Martinez-Flores was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. He is to be turned over to immigration authorities on release from prison for deportation proceedings.

Jose Felipe Sanchez-Acencio, 23, of Mexico was sentenced to time served. He has been in custody since his arrest Aug. 9. He was ordered to be turned over to ICE for deportation proceedings.

"Identity fraud schemes like this one have the ability to erode the integrity of our national immigration system and create vulnerabilities that could be exploited by all types of criminals," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans, "HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these kinds of cases and ensure that our national security is not compromised by illegal activities like this." Parmer oversees a five-state area which includes Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.