The normal stereotype of a car salesman is that they are all smooth, fast-talkers who play games with customers in an effort to separate them from their money. Success for the salesman certainly hinges on performance, because the majority of a car salesman’s income comes from commissions earned from the sale. The car salesman is normally polished. The process may be harried. The buyer is probably inexperienced. Maybe then only a fraudster could handle the negotiations of a car purchase process and actually win. Like Alvin Rivera. Who purchased at least forty-seven vehicles from dealerships in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. And Rivera used stolen identities to do it.
Between October 2017 and September 2020, Rivera was the leader of a conspiracy that used stolen identity information of United States citizens to obtain credit and cars. Using the stolen identity information that Rivera provided, co-conspirators visited Massachusetts car dealerships to purchase late-model vehicles and applied for 100% financing. In support of the applications, the co-conspirators provided stolen identities from United States citizens and Puerto Rico including driver’s licenses and Social Security cards as proof of identification. The co-conspirators used the stolen identities to illegally open bank accounts, obtain credit cards and purchase vehicles. In total, Rivera fraudulently obtained over $2 million in cars that he then resold or exported overseas. Rivera also personally used stolen identity information of United States citizens to apply for credit and fraudulently purchase vehicles in a similar scheme for his own use.
Rivera eventually stuttered and he was arrested for wire fraud and identity theft. However, following his arrest it was discovered that Rivera had applied for an obtained over $450,000 in Economy Injury Disaster Loans, using a stolen identity! He was sentenced to eight years in prison for both crimes.
This investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, a specialized investigative group comprising personnel from various state, local, and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring, and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of documents, identity, and benefit fraud schemes. Great job.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Haverhill man gets 8+ years in prison for identity fraud-based car theft scheme” published by The Boston Herald on September 8, 2023
The leader of a years-long conspiracy, a Haverhill man stole identities to purchase nearly 50 vehicles from dealerships across Massachusetts and several other states, gaining more than $2 million in cars and other merchandise.
U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris sentenced Alvin Rivera, 40, to 8 1/2 years in prison and ordered him to pay $389,141 in restitution to the identity theft victims he and his co-conspirators used to load up on the cars and merch.