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Document and Benefit Fraud

Illegal alien convicted of purchasing false ID

BOSTON — A man from the Dominican Republic was found guilty of purchasing false identity documents and receiving unemployment benefits following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Renato de la Cruz, 40, was convicted on Wednesday of theft of public money, use of a falsely obtained Social Security Number, and aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Oct. 14.

De la Cruz, an illegal alien, entered the United States using a false name and purchased identity documents in the name of another person. He then used the purchased identifying information to obtain a Social Security Number and used the Social Security Number for multiple purposes, including obtaining thousands of dollars of unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.

"Identity theft and document fraud undermine the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system and potentially rob deserving legal immigrants of benefits they rightfully deserve," said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. "We will continue to aggressively target those participating in or facilitating these crimes."

De la Cruz faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the HSI's Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, with the support of the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Social Security Administration.