October 15th, 2007 08:29 EST
Guatemalan man sentenced to 38 months in prison for identity theft
CLEVELAND — A Guatemalan man was sentenced here Thursday to more than three years in prison for illegally assuming the identity of another man. This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Gregory White, Northern District of Ohio; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigated this case.
Bernardo Marcos-Matom, 38, a Guatemala citizen, who resided on the 700 block of Race Street in Dover, Ohio, was sentenced Oct. 11 by U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi to 38 months in prison. Marcos-Matom was also ordered to pay $2,816 restitution in connection with charges of falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen, social security fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The ICE investigation revealed that Marcos-Matom presented a Puerto Rican birth certificate and social security card to obtain a State of Ohio identification card bearing the name of an actual U.S. citizen. The State of Ohio identification card was issued to Marcos-Matom, which he illegally presented to obtain employment.
Because of this identity theft and the criminal activity of the imposter, the victim stated that he received poor credit ratings, he was unable to obtain employment, and he was denied other benefits out-of-state. ICE agents recovered all of the fraudulently obtained documents Marcos-Matom used.
"Identity thieves often change identities so they can obtain employment or other benefits, and to commit other crimes," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Detroit. "ICE will diligently pursue anyone who illegally assumes others' identities and produces or sells fraudulent documents. ICE also works closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute these people to the fullest extent of the law."
ICE continues to work with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to combat document and identity theft. Anyone who suspects that their identity has been stolen should report it to the FTC via its website: www.ftc.gov. The site has a mechanism to report identity theft. Individuals can also make a report by telephone at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).
This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Rendon and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Trippi, Northern District of Ohio.
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