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Document and Benefit Fraud

ICE arrests North Carolina man for document fraud

GREENSBORO, NC - A 32-year-old man was arrested last week for allegedly producing and selling fraudulent immigration and social security documents following a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, License and Theft Bureau, and the Asheboro Police Department.

Juan Ruiz Hernandez of Madison, N.C., was charged in a criminal complaint with the manufacture, sale and distribution of a fraudulent legal permanent resident and social security cards in violation of Title 18, United States Code (USC), Section 1028 and Title 42, USC, Section 408.

He was arrested near his home in Madison, which was allegedly used as a document lab.

"Document fraud and other forms of immigration benefit fraud undermine the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system and potentially rob deserving immigrants of benefits they rightfully deserve," said Del Richburg, assistant special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Charlotte. "We will continue to aggressively target those participating in or facilitating these crimes."

"Identity theft and document fraud are serious offenses that threaten our national security and the stability of our financial and business institutions," said U.S. Attorney Wagoner. "Investigation and prosecution are essential components of a strategy to combat these crimes."

Document fraud refers to the manufacture, sale or use of counterfeit identity documents, such as fake driver's licenses, birth certificates, Social Security cards, or passports, for immigration fraud or other criminal activity. Document fraud also includes efforts to obtain genuine identity documents through fraudulent means. These activities have helped illegal aliens, criminals and even terrorists evade detection and embed themselves in our society. Document fraud often supports the crime of benefit fraud.

If convicted Ruiz-Hernandez could be sentenced to up to 15 years in federal prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and supervised release of three years.