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Mexican National Pleads Guilty to $221,000 Social Security Fraud

July 31, 2018

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office,  Eastern District of California:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Roberto Alvarez-Rivera, 84, a Mexican citizen residing in French Camp, pleaded guilty today to theft of government property, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, in 1954, Alvarez obtained the birth certificate of his cousin, who was a U.S. citizen, and used it to create a false identity to obtain a Social Security number and residence and employment in the United States. In 1996, Alvarez filed for Social Security retirement benefits under his false identity and collected approximately $221,210 in Social Security retirement benefits from 1996 to 2017. This money was the property of the United States, and Alvarez collected the money knowing he was not entitled to it.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.

Alvarez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on October 22, 2018. Alvarez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Roberto Alvarez-Rivera, 84, a Mexican citizen residing in French Camp, pleaded guilty today to theft of government property, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, in 1954, Alvarez obtained the birth certificate of his cousin, who was a U.S. citizen, and used it to create a false identity to obtain a Social Security number and residence and employment in the United States. In 1996, Alvarez filed for Social Security retirement benefits under his false identity and collected approximately $221,210 in Social Security retirement benefits from 1996 to 2017. This money was the property of the United States, and Alvarez collected the money knowing he was not entitled to it.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.

Alvarez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on October 22, 2018. Alvarez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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.

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