In Need of Assistance

shotof social security card and tax form

Ramon Hiciano, 59, pleaded guilty in federal court to using someone else’s Social Security number for personal gain to obtain health care benefits he was not entitled to.

The Dominican national man, formerly of Roxbury, a neighborhood within the city of Boston, aimed to receive housing and unemployment benefits through falsely representing a Social Security number. He used the identity of a Puerto Rican citizen to apply for and receive MassHealth benefits and Section 8 housing assistance. (The assistance he needs most now is from a lawyer.)

Between January 2016 and August 2020, Hiciano obtained more than $58,000 in MassHealth benefits and $20,780 in Section 8 housing assistance benefits. He also applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Benefits using the same stolen identity. The PUA benefits added an additional $5,736 to the total amount Hiciano collected illegally. (The amount of money in his pockets may have increased, but so will his prison sentence.)

Hiciano pleaded guilty to theft of government money and false representation of a Social Security number. Hiciano was charged in October 2020 and his sentencing is scheduled for October 7, 2021.

Falsely representing a Social Security number may lead to a prison sentence of up to five years, followed by three years of supervised release. Theft of government money may result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years, also followed by three years of supervised release. Hiciano may also be fined up to $250,000 for each of the two charges.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Dominican National Pleads Guilty to Social Security Misuse and Theft of Government Funds,” dated July 16, 2021.

BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with misusing another individual’s Social Security number to receive housing and unemployment benefits.

Ramon Hiciano, 59, formerly of Roxbury, pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number and theft of government money. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for Oct. 7, 2021. Hiciano was charged in October 2020.



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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.