Obdulio Edu Burgos-Dominguez, 35, a Guatemalan national formerly of Seymour, Ind., pleaded guilty today in Puerto Rico to one count of conspiracy to commit identification fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling for profit. Jose Sergio Garcia-Ramirez, 37, a Mexican national formerly of Rockford, Ill., also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit identification fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Burgos-Dominguez and Garcia-Ramirez were originally charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Puerto Rico on Mar. 22, 2012. To date, a total of 53 individuals have been charged for their roles in the identify trafficking scheme.
Court documents allege that individuals located in Caguas, Puerto Rico obtained Puerto Rican identities and identity documents. Other conspirators located in various cities throughout the U.S. allegedly solicited customers and sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set.
Court documents allege that some identity brokers assumed a Puerto Rican identity themselves and used that identity in connection with the trafficking operation. Their customers generally obtained the identity documents to assume the identity of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and to obtain additional identification documents, such as legitimate state driver’s licenses. Some customers allegedly obtained the documents to commit financial fraud and attempted to obtain a U.S. passport.
Garcia-Ramirez and Burgos-Dominguez are the seventh and eighth defendants to plead guilty in this case.