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Illegal immigrant from Mexico pleads guilty to using fake identity to steal $361,000 in government benefits

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Illegal immigrant from Mexico pleads guilty to using fake identity to steal $361,000 in government benefits

A Mexican national has confessed to stealing the identity of an American citizen, and over the course of 37 years pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in government benefits.

Andres Avelino Anduaga, 66 – who hails from Tijuana, Mexico – admitted in San Diego federal court on Thursday that he assumed the fake identity of a Texas resident named Abraham Riojos in 1980 after obtaining a fraudulent birth certificate, and then successfully applied for a California driver’s license, Social Security number and passport.

From 1989 to 2016, according to the plea agreement, he received around $361,000 in benefits -- which included Medi-Cal, food stamps and Supplemental Security Income benefits. 

The fake identity also enabled Anduaga – identified as an illegal immigrant and repeat felon – to go back-and-forth without restriction between Mexico and the United States, which he was alleged to have been doing multiple times per week.

”The programs that this defendant stole from – for decades – provide benefits to America’s most needy. This prosecution demonstrates the commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office to protecting the integrity of our welfare programs and punishing those who prey on the goodwill of our nation and its taxpayers,” stated U.S Attorney Adam Braverman.

Investigators also located the real Abraham Riojos, now residing in Florida, who said he had no indication that his identity had deceitfully been used for so long. Authorities have not made clear how Anduaga feigned the identity, but it is believed the two did not know each other and never made contact.

Anduaga is required to pay back the full amount of government funds he fraudulently received, and faces twelve years behind bars and additional fines.

Sentencing is slated for May 29.



据圣地牙哥联合论坛报获得的文件,安杜加(Andres Avelino Anduaga)从1980年开始使用假出生证明书来冒充他人身分,申请加州驾照、社会安全号码和美国护照。他在美国官方文件中名为里奥霍斯(Abraham Riojos),1958年在德州出生。



根据刑事诉状,安杜加在2015年4月接受当局一次标准审查,以确定是否仍合资格享有残疾福利时,他自称是里奥霍斯,并提交了南加州丘拉维斯塔市(Chula Vista)一个地址,但当调查员在2016年1月查访该地址时,房东承认,里奥霍斯从未在该处住过,而是住在墨西哥。






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