SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Miguel Carrasquillo-Vilches was sentenced by U.S District Court Judge Francisco A. Besosa to a term of 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a restitution to be paid to the victim in the amount of $30,605.19, for impersonating a federal officer and committing wire fraud, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, W. Stephen Muldrow. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.
Carrasquillo-Vilches pleaded guilty on January 13, 2020, to one count of False Personation of an Officer or Employee of the United States, and four counts of Wire Fraud. The sentencing hearing was held on April 13, 2021.
From June to October 2019, Carrasquillo-Vilches devised a scheme to defraud and falsely claimed to be an agent of the Homeland Security Investigations. The impersonation of a federal officer was used to obtain a rental agreement and residency in a luxury apartment located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
As part of the scheme to defraud, Carrasquillo-Vilches identified himself as the Director of Tactical Command of the Mid-South Region for Homeland Security Investigations, generated fake email threads to a nonexistent government email address, and used texts, phone calls and emails to communicate and make false representations to the realtor and owner of the apartment. The fake emails Carrasquillo-Vilches generated made it seem that supervisors at Homeland Security Investigations were aware of the Residence Lease Agreement and were in the process of approving it.
Carrasquillo-Vilches signed a Residential Lease Agreement with the owner of the apartment and agreed to pay rent of $7,500 per month for one year. Carrasquillo-Vilches moved into the apartment, failed to make any payments, and was eventually removed from the property at the time of his arrest.
Assistant U.S. Attorney María L. Montañez of the Financial Fraud and Public Corruption Section prosecuted the case.
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