SAN JUAN, P.R. –On November 18, 2020, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a one-count indictment charging Krystal Marie Rivera with false statements made to an agency of the United States, announced United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. The FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau were in charge of the investigation. Rivera was arrested today without incident.
According to the information contained in the indictment, on October 22, 2020, defendant Rivera willfully and knowingly made a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, by stating to FBI task force officers, at the Police of Puerto Rico Robbery Division, in the District of Puerto Rico, that she had been kidnapped by several individuals. The statements and representations were false because, as Krystal Marie Rivera then and there knew, she had not been kidnapped, but was rather voluntarily spending time with an acquaintance.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will investigate and prosecute individuals that mislead and disrupt law enforcement operations by providing false information to law enforcement agents,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow.
“Every time a kidnapping is reported, a sophisticated law enforcement system is set into motion. Countless agents, analysts, and other law enforcement personnel are deployed to immediate action to locate and recover the victim,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Riviere. “Faking a kidnapping is no laughing matter. It is an irresponsible act, which costs law-abiding taxpayers a lot of money. The FBI will pursue the misuse of law enforcement power to its ultimate consequence.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David T. Henek and the Chief of the Violent Crimes and National Security Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Gottfried. If convicted, the defendant could face a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000.00.
Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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