Department of Justice
Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks
District of Massachusetts
District of Massachusetts
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday - July 31, 2009
|CONTACT: CHRISTINA DiIORIO-STERLING
FORMER UMASS AMHERST STUDENT SENTENCED ON FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN FRAUD, MISUSE OF A FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINED SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND OTHER RELATED CHARGES
SPRINGFIELD, MA - A Baltimore, MD man was sentenced today in federal court for federal student loan fraud, misuse of a fraudulently obtained social security number, false statements and wire fraud.
Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks, Brian Hickey, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General - Boston / New York Field Division; Jeff Paula, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Investigations - Boston Field Division; Robert Malaby, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Johnny C. Whitehead, Chief of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Department, announced today that CARLO BRANDO ZEPEDA, age 44, of Baltimore, MD, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to 6 months imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, the first 6 months of which must be spent residing in a community corrections center, and payment of restitution in the amount of $84,866.68 to the United States Department of Education and $11,247.00 to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. ZEPEDA pled guilty to Federal Student Financial Assistance Fraud, Misuse of a Fraudulently Obtained Social Security Number, False Statement to a Federal Agency and Wire Fraud on April 6, 2009.
At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that ZEPEDA, after having defaulted on federal student loans obtained under his social security number, fraudulently obtained a second social security number and used it to receive approximately $88,138 in federal and state student aid to which he was not entitled. ZEPEDA made false statements to the U.S. Department of Education regarding his social security number and the existence of a default on his prior student loans. ZEPEDA also caused the electronic submission of a 2004-2005 Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to the U.S. Department of Education, which contained false and fraudulent representations, for the purpose of receiving federal and state financial assistance to which he was not entitled because of his prior federal student loan default.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General; the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Dineen Jerrett of Loucks’ Springfield Branch Office.