FRESNO, Calif.–Antonio Rodriguez Guido, aka Catarino Gerardo Saldana Molina, 66, of Madera was convicted yesterday of one count of theft of public money and one count of aggravated identity theft relating to his fraudulent receipt of Social Security benefits under a false name, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today. The guilty verdict was returned by a federal court jury in Fresno after a three day trial before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill.
According to testimony presented at trial, Antonio Rodriguez Guido came to the United States in 1968 using the name Catarino Gerardo Saldana Molina, who was a real person born in Laredo, Texas in 1945. Thereafter, the defendant obtained a Social Security card under the Molina identity, worked under the Molina identity and eventually applied for Social Security disability benefits as Molina in 2001. He received two types of Social Security benefits from April 2002 to September 2010, totaling more than $100,000. In April 2010, while receiving disability benefits, the defendant again falsely represented himself as Molina on a continuing disability review form submitted to the Social Security Administration.
This case was the product of an extensive investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, with assistance from Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and Christopher D. Baker are prosecuting the case.
The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge O’Neill on January 14, 2013, at 8:15 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty for theft of public money is ten years imprisonment. The statutory penalty for aggravated identity theft is a minimum mandatory two years imprisonment consecutive to any other count of conviction. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.