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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal jury returned a verdict today against Gustavo Araujo Lerma, 64, finding him guilty of one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of passport fraud, and five counts of voting by an alien, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Lerma was born in Mexico in 1955. In the early 1990s, he acquired and began fraudulently using the identity of a United States citizen named Hiram Velez. Lerma used the Velez identity to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports and to vote in federal elections.

“The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to ensuring that those who perpetrate passport fraud face punitive consequences for their criminal actions,” said Matthew Perlman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) San Francisco Field Office. “The strong relationship we enjoy with the U.S. Attorney’s Office is vital towards ensuring the integrity of U.S. travel documents and protecting the American homeland.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine T. Lydon and Shea J. Kenny are prosecuting the case.

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U.S. Department of State

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