Committing A Fraud As A Fraud

Male hands counting dollars, black salary, money laundering, illegal business, stock footage

In spring of 2022, the Labor Department testified at a congressional hearing that they estimated there could have been “at least” $163 billion in unemployment-related “overpayments,” an estimate that includes wrongly paid sums as well as benefits obtained by malicious actors. One such malicious actor could be Pedro Hernandez-Romero, who first became a fraud in order to commit a fraud.

Hernandez-Romero had already entered the United States illegally and been deported once. The second time Hernandez-Romero illegally reentered the country without authorization, he immediately stole the identity of a United States citizen and obtained the social security number. Subsequently, he filed for unemployment and COVID-19 related benefits, receiving in total $26,000 in Pennsylvania Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Committing fraud while already being a fraud!

But this fraudster doesn’t get to stay. On June 19, 2022, Hernandez-Romero plead guilty to illegal reentry of a removed alien, social security account fraud and aggravated identity theft. Sentencing hasn’t been scheduled, but hopefully re-deportment will be on the top of the punishment list.

Great job to Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Department of Labor for bringing Hernandez-Romero trial.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day“ is based on an article posted by PAToday on July 19, 2022.

Mexican citizen pleads guilty to pandemic relief fraud in Pennsylvania

SCRANTON, Pa. (WHTM) – A Mexican citizen has pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the country and receiving COVID-19 related benefits in Pennsylvania

Pedro Hernandez-Romero, 30, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty on July 19, 2022, to illegal reentry of a removed alien, social security account fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.