BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to false representation of a Social Security number and making a false statement relating to health care matters.

Ronald Lara Pena, 35, a Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of making a false statement relating to health care matters. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled by the court. Pena was indicted in September 2020.

Lara Pena admitted to using the identity of a Puerto Rican citizen to obtain Massachusetts driver’s licenses and identification cards. Lara Pena also used the victim’s identity to apply for and fraudulently receive over $12,600 in federally funded MassHealth benefits between September 2015 and September 2020.

The charge of false representation of a Social Security number provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of false statement relating to health care matters provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Jack Jermaine, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Boston Field Office; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Regional Office; and Suzanne M. Bump, State Auditor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts made the announcement today. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Burzycki of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

 

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