Two Norman residents sentenced for conspiracy and aggravated identity theft


Date: June 6, 2023


OKLAHOMA CITY — Yesterday, Desiree Nicole Fransen and Octavio Juan Sanchez both residents of Norman, Oklahoma, were sentenced collectively to 84 months in federal prison for conspiracy and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme that targeted a deceased woman, announced United States Attorney Robert J. Troester.

On June 8, 2022, a federal grand jury returned a seven-count Indictment against the defendants. On January 18, 2023, Sanchez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a crime against the United States and aggravated identity theft. On January 25, 2023, Fransen pleaded guilty to those same crimes.

Public records reflect that Fransen served as the representative payee for Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits for Sanchez's intellectually disabled sister. Fransen and Sanchez conspired to keep those benefits for their personal use and never reported to SSA that the sister was deceased. They converted $30,912.00 in benefits to their own personal use. The defendants also fraudulently used the identity of Sanchez's deceased sister to apply for $3,200.00 in economic impact payments from the Internal Revenue Service. The CARES Act authorized economic impact payments, also known as stimulus checks, to eligible individuals to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequent federal legislation authorized additional rounds of economic impact payments.

Yesterday, United States District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced the defendants as follows:

Desiree Nicole Fransen was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison. This term of imprisonment will be followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service at sentencing.

Octavio Juan Sanchez. was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison. This term of imprisonment will be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Sanchez had already been in federal custody since July 2021 for an unrelated federal firearms conviction.

In addition, the Court ordered the defendants to pay restitution of $34,112.00.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica L. Perry and Danielle London prosecuted the case.