Dominican Arrested for Identity Theft

BOSTON, MASS  – A Dominican national was arrested yesterday and charged in connection with fraudulently using another person’s Social Security number.

Manuel Maria German Familia, 30, who previously resided in Lawrence, was indicted on one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of aggravated identity theft.  He was detained following an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal pending a detention hearing scheduled for Feb. 12, 2021.

According to the indictment, German Familia fraudulently used a Social Security number that was assigned to someone else in an application at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles in 2016.

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, a specialized investigative group comprised of local, state, and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring, and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity, and benefit fraud schemes.

The charge of false representation of a Social Security number provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of at least two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; William S. Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police; U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Billerica Police Department and the Lawrence Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred M. Wyshak, III, of Lelling’s Criminal Division, is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.