Massachusetts men used stolen identities to get small business loans, used money to buy iPhones, officials say
Two Massachusetts men have been charged with using stolen identities to secure more than $ 452,204 in disaster loans from the Small Business Administration and using the dollars to buy iPhones for resale, officials said Tuesday. federal officials.
Darwyn Joseph, 24 from Lawrence, and Ramon Joseph Cruz, 24 from Methuen, were arrested on Monday and each charged in a Boston federal court with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and an aggravated count of identity theft, according to the office of the United States attorney Andrew Lelling.
After the initial court appearances, both men were held pending detention hearings, which are scheduled for Wednesday.
Joseph and Cruz used stolen identity information from U.S. citizens to open fraudulent bank accounts, which were linked to other fraudulent bank accounts created to receive SBA funds, Lelling’s office said in a statement.
The suspects were mailed debit cards associated with fraudulent bank accounts into which SBA funds were deposited, according to Lelling’s office, and then laundered that money using the dollars to buy large numbers of iPhones to spare.
More than $ 452,204 in SBA funds were raised, the statement said, and about $ 250,000 of that money was said to have been used to purchase iPhones in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Some funds were also transferred to the Dominican Republic, according to the statement.