Some fraudsters dip their toe in the proverbial fraud pool before jumping in. They’ll dabble in something small before gaining confidence to pull off larger and more complicated fraud schemes. Jeurin Celado, a Dominican national, went all in. You could say that he did a cannon ball into the deep end of the fraud pool by committing aggravated identity theft, healthcare fraud and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. (Let’s just say, he made a very big splash.)
Between August 2014 and July 2018, the 31-year-old man was involved in a variety of things to include controlling a drug stash house, trading fentanyl, and using a stolen identity to obtain Rhode Island permits and driver’s licenses. He also used the same identity to apply for and receive $4,726.50 in Medicaid benefits he did not qualify to receive.
In addition to these fraudulent escapades, Celado was busy dealing drugs. According to court documents, in August and September 2019, undercover drug investigators from the Woonsocket Police Department arranged to make four purchases of fentanyl from a person known as “Tony.” For each purchase, “Tony” sent the buyer to a location where a “runner” delivered the drugs in exchange for cash. (Who do you think “Tony” actually was? This is the point at which Celado’s fraud swan dive turned into a belly flop.)
The Dominican national pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, and conspiracy to distribute the narcotic, fentanyl. The result was a seven-year sentence in federal prison to be followed by four years of federal supervised release. He’ll also have to pay back $4,726.50 to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program for collecting benefits he didn’t deserve. (It looks like the justice system has thrown him a life raft. Let’s hope he can learn to swim.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Dominican National Sentenced for Trafficking Fentanyl, Health Care Fraud, ID Theft, Misue of a Social Security Number,” dated September 24, 2021.
PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national who operated a drug stash house and arranged for the sale of fentanyl on multiple occasions, and who used the stolen identity and Social Security number of another person to gain Rhode Island Medicaid benefits and Rhode Island driver’s licenses and permits, was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
Jeurin Celado, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 96 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,726.50 to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program. Celado pleaded guilty on April 2, 2021, to false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, health care fraud, and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.