Heard: January 10, 2018.
received and sworn to in the Roxbury Division of the Boston
Municipal Court Department on October 2, 2003.
motion to withdraw a plea of guilty, filed on November 18,
2016, was heard by Kenneth J. Fiandaca, J.
Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct
Crane for the defendant.
Z. Kesselheim, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Gants, C.J., Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.
defendant, Emilia Escobar, pleaded guilty to identity fraud
pursuant to G. L. c. 266, § 37E (b), in connection with
providing a false name to a police officer during a traffic
stop. Here, she appeals from the denial of a motion to
withdraw the guilty plea, claiming that there were
insufficient facts to establish that she attempted to
receive, or received, "anything of value" within
the meaning of § 37E (b). Because we conclude that the
phrase "anything of value, " as it appears in the
statute, does not include avoiding criminal prosecution, we
facts are uncontested. In October, 2002, a State police
trooper stopped the defendant for driving an automobile with
an excessively loud exhaust. The defendant told the trooper
falsely that her name was Ana Escobar, gave a false date of
birth, and said that she did not have her license with her.
Upon conducting a check with the registry of motor vehicles,
the trooper learned that Ana Escobar's license was
suspended and issued a citation in Ana Escobar's name.
one year later, an investigation revealed that the defendant
had been untruthful at the time of the stop. A complaint was
issued charging the defendant with multiple infractions in
addition to identity fraud: operating a motor vehicle with a
suspended license; improper operation of a motor vehicle;
failing to possess a license while operating a motor vehicle;
and providing a false name to a police officer.
March, 2004, pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant
admitted to sufficient facts on all charges except the charge
of providing a false name to a police officer, which was
dismissed. Charges of operating a motor vehicle with a
suspended license and identity fraud were continued without a
finding for nine months, then dismissed, and the remaining
charges were placed on file.
decade later, in November, 2016, the defendant filed a motion
to withdraw her plea to the charge of identity fraud,
alleging that there was an insufficient factual basis for the
charge. After a hearing, the judge denied the
defendant's motion. The defendant appealed, and we
allowed her application for direct appellate review.
order for a judge to accept a guilty plea, he or she must
find "sufficient facts on the record to establish each
element of the offense." Commonwealth v. Hart,
467 Mass. 322, 325 (2014), quoting Commonwealth v.
DelVerde, 398 Mass. 288, 297 (1986). Ordinarily, during
a plea colloquy the prosecutor recites the facts that the
Commonwealth would have proved if the case had gone to trial.
The defendant indicates whether he or she agrees with the
facts as presented and may provide clarifications. The judge
then determines whether the ...