A Dominican national living in Dorchester was sentenced to prison time Monday for his role in a stolen identity refused fraud scheme that scored hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds, the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Junior Alberto Lopez, 32, was sentenced in federal court to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a restitution charge of $242,000. He will be subject to deportation proceedings once he completes his sentence.
In June 2017, Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of false claims conspiracy, three counts of access device fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was arrested in April 2015, but fled to the Dominican Republic after being released on bail, the Department of Justice said. Lopez was arrested again in his homeland in December 2016 and extradited to the United States in March 2017.
Between May 2011 and February 2013, Lopez and at least two co-conspirators unlawfully obtained personal information such as names, addresses and dates of birth of more than 700 residents of Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Lopez and the others created and filed false income tax returns for 2010, 2011, and 2012, the DOJ said, claiming those refund checks themselves via prepaid debit cards. The debit cards were delivered to controlled places in Boston and elsewhere. Lopez and the others cashed and redistributed the checks and debit cards, the DOJ said.