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Mexican National Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Identity Theft

FRANKFORT, KY – A Mexican National who resides in Danville, Ky., Arturo Hernandez-Pozos, 54, was sentenced on Tuesday, by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, to 42 months in prison, for wire fraud, making a false statement in a passport application, and aggravated identity theft.

According to his plea agreement, Hernandez-Pozos was previously removed from the United States on two occasions; and prior to his last removal in 2006, he had assumed the identity of U.S. Citizen who had previously died, at two years of age.  Hernandez-Pozos used the U.S. Citizen’s birth certificate and baptismal record.  He then procured a social security number for the stolen identity; and on three separate occasions, in 2011, 2015, and 2021, he submitted applications for a U.S. passport using that stolen identity.  Ultimately, an investigation by the Social Security Administration OIG revealed that the Social Security Administration had paid Hernandez-Pozos $88,684.50 in disability benefits, from 2017 through 2023, based on his false representation of the stolen identity.

When law enforcement arrested Hernandez-Pozos, in June 2023, they conducted a search of his residence and discovered a number of fraudulent identity documents, including 20 social security cards, 14 permanent alien cards, three Mexican matriculation cards, and five driver’s licenses, all in various identities.  They also found hologram stickers.  Among the identities found was one for Ruben Rodriguez-Ortiz, which was another identity that Hernandez-Pozos had used.  Additional investigation revealed that Hernandez-Pozos was taking orders for false identification documents and distributing them to individuals, in Kentucky and across the United States, using the United States Postal Service.  There were more than 100 unique social security numbers involved in his scheme to transfer false identification documents.

Under federal law, Hernandez-Pozos must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years. As part of his sentencing, Hernandez-Pozos must also pay $88,684.50 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Marvin D. Mauldin, Resident Agent-in-Charge, SSA Office of the Inspector General; Lesley Allison, Special Agent in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Pittsburgh Field Division; Rana Saoud, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Nashville Field Office; and Jason Crosby, U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, jointly announced the sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the SSA-OIG, USPIS, HSI, and U.S. Department of State--Diplomatic Security Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Greenfield prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

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