Married Couple Convicted for Collecting Benefits after Faking Husband's Death

Date: 
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Office Affiliation: 

A married couple was convicted Tuesday for stealing more than $413,000 in benefits after faking the husband's death, authorities said.

Santiago Carrasco, 52 and Rosa Carrasco, 54, were sentenced to two years in custody and two years of mandatory supervision upon their release after pleading guilty to two felony counts of grand theft, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

The Santa Ana couple, who also admitted to sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime, were ordered to pay more than $413,000 in restitution, prosecutors said.

Authorities believe Santiago Carrasco spent two decades living under the assumed name of "Lucio Rodriguez" before traveling to Mexico in 2004 to obtain a fake death certificate for the alias.

Upon returning to the United States, authorities say, Santiago Carrasco began living under his real name while he and Rosa collected Social Security and union pension death benefits from the fake death.

The couple was arrested in August 2011 after an investigation by the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Social Security Administration.

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