BILLINGS — A Mexican national accused of using personal information stolen from another person to live and work in the Billings community pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to related charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.
Hugo Javier Quiroga, also known as Antonio Alatorre, 47, pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number, false claim to United States citizenship and aggravated identity theft. Quiroga faces a maximum five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release and a mandatory consecutive two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release on the identity theft count.
The government alleged in court documents that in 2018, law enforcement began investigating a complaint from an individual named Antonio Alatorre, originally from Brownsville, Texas, who said his identification documents had been stolen in the 1990s and that he had encountered problems due to having his identity stolen. The complainant had learned that someone in Billings was using his identity.
Investigators determined that the individual in Billings was Quiroga, who went by the alias Antonio Alatorre, and that Quiroga had admitted to a former wife that he swam across the Rio Grande to enter the United States, lived in Brownsville, Texas for a couple of years, and used the alias as a “work name.” Investigators also obtained the marriage license from the marriage to his former wife, which showed that Quiroga was born in Matamoros, Mexico.
The government further alleged that Quiroga falsely used the name, date of birth, and social security number for Alatorre to join the boilermakers union and work for several companies in Montana. Additionally, Quiroga falsely claimed that he was a United States citizen on one of the employment application forms.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Judge Cavan ordered Quiroga detained. A sentencing date will be set.