Dominican National Indicted for Identity Theft, Theft of Public Money, Passport and Health Care Fraud
We often hear about medical identity theft as a risk of PII or PHI being stolen or hacked. Here’s a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island about one such case:
A Dominican national living in Providence who, since at least 1994, allegedly used the stolen Social Security number and other personal identifying information of a person who lived in Puerto Rico and who subsequently passed away in September 2018, to fraudulently gain a U.S. passport and federally-funded food and health care benefits, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of aggravated identity theft, passport fraud, and fraudulently obtaining publicly funded health care and food stamp benefits, among other charges.
According to court documents and information presented to the court, Diomedes Ramirez Rodriguez, 48, twice used the stolen personal identifying information when applying for and receiving U.S. Passports in June 2008 and June 2010. Rodriguez allegedly submitted several forms of ID in the name of the person from Puerto Rico, including a birth certificate and a photo ID depicting his own photograph. Both passports were later reported lost.
It is alleged that in March 2014, Rodriquez applied for and was approved to receive health care benefits from Rite Care, Rhode Island’s Medicaid Managed Care Program, in the name of the victim whose identity he allegedly stole. It is alleged that Rodriquez provided a Commonwealth of Puerto Rico birth certificate, a Rhode Island driver’s license, a U.S. Passport, and a Social Security card, all in the name of the identity theft victim. It is alleged that between September 2016 and August 2020, Rodriquez obtained $34,727.94 in medical, pharmaceutical, institutional, and dental services he was not entitled to receive.
It is further alleged that in March 2017, Rodriguez applied for and was approved to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, having provided a Commonwealth of Puerto Rico birth certificate, a Rhode Island driver’s license, a U.S. Passport, and a Social Security card all in the name of the person whose identity he allegedly stole. It is alleged that between March 2017 and May 2020, Rodriquez received $7,342.64 in SNAP benefits he was not entitled to receive.
It is further alleged that Rodriguez used the stolen identity and Social Security information to obtain Rhode Island driver’s licenses and a Rhode Island identification card.
On Friday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Rodriguez with false representation of a Social Security number, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, theft of public money, false representation of citizenship, and misuse of passport, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus; Jon Davidson, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Boston Field Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker of Homeland Security Investigations’ Boston SAC Office; Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations; Bethanne M. Dinkins, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General; and Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’, Office of Inspector General’s Boston Field Office.
According to court records, Rodriguez, while allegedly using the stolen identity, was arrested in Florida, New York, and Rhode Island on at least 14 occasions, and convicted on, among other things, drug and stolen goods charges. Acting United States Attorney Myrus thanks the FBI for their assistance in linking Rodriguez to these prior arrests.
A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.