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Dominican sentenced in Puerto Rico ID fraud case

September 20, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A Dominican woman who pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle humans and commit identification fraud has been sentenced to nearly four years in U.S. federal prison.

Authorities say Arelis Abreu Ramos would obtain identities of Puerto Ricans and sell their Social Security cards and other documents to migrants seeking to obtain a U.S. passport or driver’s license.

The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that Abreu lived in Philadelphia and was one of several identity brokers working across the U.S.

Puerto Ricans are often targeted in identity fraud cases because they have Latino names and are U.S. citizens.

The amount of fraud involving Puerto Rico documents forced the U.S. territory in 2010 to void all birth certificates and force people to reapply for new ones with security features.

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