A Haverhill man, named as the ringleader in a scheme that used stolen identities to secure $2 million to buy cars and other goods, was sentenced Friday to eight and a half years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $400,000 in restitution to victims.
U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris handed down the sentence to 40-year-old Alvin Rivera, who pleaded guilty this past spring to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft and three counts of false representation of a Social Security number. Separately, a similar case in New Jersey was transferred to Massachusetts for resolution.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy’s office charged Rivera used the stolen identities of United States citizens from Puerto Rico to fraudulently purchase vehicles and other merchandise and obtain and use bank accounts and credit cards. After serving in prison time, Rivera faces three years of supervised release and must pay $389,141 to victims.
Between October 2017 and September 2020, Rivera and others he supervised visited Massachusetts car dealerships to purchase late-model vehicles and applied for 100% financing. In support of the applications, they provided stolen information as proof of identification. Many of the 47 vehicles, bought in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, were exported out of the country.
Following Rivera’s arrest, the investigation also found that in 2020, Rivera also allegedly led a conspiracy that used stolen identities to obtain more than $450,000 in Economy Injury Disaster Loans, a form of pandemic relief, from the Small Business Administration.