Potential fraud at your dealership or finance company can stem from activity outside the continental United States, as a case recapped by the Justice Department shows.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts recently announced a Lowell woman was sentenced for her role in a scheme to use the stolen identities of United States citizens from Puerto Rico to fraudulently purchase more than 45 vehicles.

Officials said Arialka Moya was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris to six months in prison and three years of supervised release, with the first year to be served in home confinement.

According to a news release, Moya pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and false representation of a Social Security Number. Moya was charged by criminal complaint in September 2020 along with seven other co-conspirators.

In January 2019, officials said Moya visited a Massachusetts car dealership and applied for financing to purchase a vehicle worth more than $60,000. In support of the application, officials said Moya provided stolen biographical information of a real United States citizen, including a fraudulent Puerto Rico driver’s license and a Social Security Card, as proof of identification.

Additionally, Moya used or prepared to use at least nine stolen identities to fraudulently open credit card accounts, according to the Justice Department.

Officials said Moya is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case.

In total, the Justice Department indicated Moya and her co-conspirators fraudulently purchased at least 47 vehicles and more than $270,000 in other merchandise using the credit of identity theft victims, resulting in losses of more than $2 million.

Officials said the co-conspirators have been ordered to pay over $781,000 in restitution to victims who submitted claims.

The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), a specialized investigative group comprising personnel from various state, local, and federal agencies with expertise in detecting, deterring, and disrupting organizations and individuals involved in various types of document, identity, and benefit fraud schemes.