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Document and Benefit Fraud

Illegal alien sentenced to 3 years for using stolen identity to obtain green card

BOISE, Idaho — A 40-year-old Mexican national was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison and a $200 special assessment for aggravated identity theft and perjury, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Mauricio Becerril, formerly of Ontario, Ore., admitted last December to knowingly using someone else's name, Social Security number and date of birth to fraudulently obtain legal permanent resident card. According to court records, Becerril used the identity of a person identified only as "E.Z.R" to file an application for a replacement card with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in September 2010.

In January 2011, Becerril's application was approved and a new card was issued with his photo. Prosecutors say Becerril knew E.Z.R. was a real person because he requested a replacement card and had obtained permanent resident cards using E.Z.R's name in the past. When questioned by HSI special agents in June 2012, Becerril swore he was E.Z.R. under penalty of perjury.

HSI places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud. These types of fraud pose a 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.