BOSTON – A Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence was sentenced today for fraudulent use of a Social Security number.
Richard Zapata Suarez, 33, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 12 months in prison and one year of supervised release. In June 2020, Zapata Suarez pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number.
On May 17, 2016, Zapata Suarez used the Social Security number of a U.S. citizen to submit a renewal application for a Massachusetts driver’s license under the victim’s name. In order to obtain the license, Zapata Suarez fraudulently provided various documents to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, including a Social Security card and birth certificate bearing the victim’s name.
The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), a specialized investigative group comprised of personnel from various state, local and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity and benefit fraud schemes.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Office; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Boston Field Office; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, Boston; U.S. Marshals Service; Massachusetts State Police; and the Massachusetts Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam W. Deitch of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.
USAO - Massachusetts;
Department of Health and Human Services OIG