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BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today in connection with using the identity of a U.S. citizen.

Yohnny Peguero Villalona, 33, a Dominican national who formerly resided in Lynn, pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of making a false statement relating to a health care benefit program.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 8, 2020.  Peguero Villalona was arrested in December 2019 and has been detained since that time.

Peguero Villalona used the name and identifiers of a U.S. citizen for at least 13 years, including to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and to apply for MassHealth benefits.  When he was arrested on unrelated charges, Peguero Villalona used the identity of this U.S. citizen.  Fingerprints taken during the booking process following the prior arrest of Peguero Villalona matched fingerprints showing him to be a citizen of the Dominican Republic.  During a search of Peguero Villalona’s residence, a Massachusetts driver’s license and a MassHealth card under the name of the U.S. citizen whose identity Peguero Villalona had fraudulently assumed, were recovered.

The charges of false representation of a Social Security number and false statement relating to a health care benefit program provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a two-year sentence to be served consecutively to any other sentence, as well as up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $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; Jason Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General, made the announcement today.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and the Lynn Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.

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