From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California:
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Reynaldo Villalobos, 37, of Tulare, charging him with theft of public money and making false statements regarding right to Social Security benefits, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Reynaldo Villalobos applied for Social Security Income benefits for his son in 2002. In 2007, his son moved out of the country and has lived in Mexico ever since, making him ineligible for Social Security Income benefits. Nonetheless, Reynaldo Villalobos, as his son’s designated representative payee, never informed the Social Security Administration about the move and continued to fraudulently represent to that agency that his son was still living in the United States in order to continue to collect the Social Security Income benefits. Between August 2007 and September 2017, Reynaldo Villalobos collected at least $80,872 in Social Security Income to which he and his son were not entitled.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Withers is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Villalobos faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.