A Haverhill woman was sentenced Friday in federal court for her role in a scheme to use stolen identities to fraudulently apply for and use bank accounts and credit cards.
Neida Lopez, 45, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Timothy Hillman to 28 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Lopez was also required to pay restitution of $20,000. Last May, Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Lopez and others were charged in September 2020. She was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury later that month. In February 2020, Lopez appeared in person at a bank branch in South Portland, Maine, and provided personal identifying information of a U.S. citizen on an application to open a checking account. She later used that same stolen identity to apply for and obtain a credit card which she and her co-conspirators maxed out the $20,000 limit.
At sentencing, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Lopez was also held responsible for her role in a related conspiracy that used other stolen identities to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, made available under the Small Business Administration. They used stolen identities to open fraudulent bank accounts, which were then linked to other fraudulent bank accounts set up to receive the loans. Approximately $250,000 of the money was then laundered through the purchasing of iPhones in Massachusetts and New Hampshire which were then re-sold for cash. A portion of the money was also wired to others in the Dominican Republic. In total, more than $452,000 in federal loans were fraudulently obtained. One of Lopez’s associates, Edwin Acevedo, pleaded guilty Jan. 5 and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16.