From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska:
Anchorage, Alaska-U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that Jose Alegria-Garcia, 56, of Anchorage, was sentenced today to 29 months in federal prison. Alegria-Garcia was arrested in November 2014 and charged with unlawfully using the name and identity of Carlos Velazquez to work and live illegally in the United States.
Alegria-Garcia, a citizen of El Salvador, has been in the United States illegally since the early 1980s. In January 2015, he pled guilty to one count of unlawful use of a Social Security number, one count of making a false claim of United States citizenship, and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with an application for unemployment benefits from the State of Alaska.
United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason sentenced Alegria-Garcia to the five months imprisonment he has already served on the Social Security number and false citizenship charges, and also imposed a mandatory two-year consecutive term for aggravated identity theft. Judge Gleason also ordered Alegria-Garcia to pay restitution to the State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, in the amount of $5,336.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Gleason mentioned the impact on the victim, as well as the defendant’s long criminal record spanning more than 30 years. The victim, a U.S. national living in New York, stated that he found it difficult to obtain the benefits he was entitled to through Social Security because government records indicated that he was working in Alaska. In fact, Alegria-Garcia was working in Alaska, having stolen the victim’s identity.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; and the State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development.