Citizen of Mexico Admits Misusing SSN to Receive Connecticut Unemployment Benefits

Friday, December 2, 2011
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David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LASARO ALVAREZ-TAPIA, 24, last residing in Wallingford, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven to one count of misuse of a Social Security number.

According to court documents and statements made in court, ALVAREZ-TAPIA is a citizen of Mexico unlawfully residing in the United States. From February 11, 2008 through July 19, 2009, ALVAREZ-TAPIA filed claims with the Connecticut Department of Labor by using a Social Security number that was not assigned to him, and by representing that he was a United States citizen. Based on his claims, ALVAREZ-TAPIA received $14,696 in unemployment insurance compensation benefits that he was not entitled to receive.

ALVAREZ-TAPIA is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns on January 4, 2012, at which time ALVAREZ-TAPIA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

ALVAREZ-TAPIA has been detained since his June 2011 arrest.

This case was investigated by the United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Calvin B. Kurimai and Peter S. Jongbloed.