Photo: Puerto Rican Identity Theft Ring
A Mexican national was sentenced today to 54 months in prison for trafficking of identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and corresponding identity documents.
Jose Sergio Garcia-Ramirez, 37, formerly of Rockford, Ill., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí, in the District of Puerto Rico. Judge Gelpí also ordered that Garcia-Ramirez forfeit $35,900 in proceeds and ordered the removal of Garcia-Ramirez from the United States after the completion of his sentence.
On July 17, 2012, Garcia-Ramirez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit identification fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
To date, a total of 53 individuals have been charged for their roles in the identity trafficking scheme, and 18 defendants have pleaded guilty.
Court documents allege that individuals located in the Savarona area of Caguas, Puerto Rico obtained Puerto Rican identities and corresponding identity documents. Other conspirators located in various cities throughout the United States (identity brokers) allegedly solicited customers and sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set.
Their customers allegedly 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 admitted that he was an identity broker in the conspiracy and operated in Illinois. Garcia-Ramirez is the fourth defendant to be sentenced in this case.