Mexican National Sentenced for Theft of Social Security Benefits
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas:
DEL RIO – A Mexican national was sentenced last week to 45 months in prison for stealing Social Security benefits.
According to court documents, in May 2006 Jaime Aguilar, 60, applied for Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits, claiming to be a U.S. citizen. Aguilar also applied and received Medicaid benefits beginning in March 2012, again claiming he was a U.S. citizen. It was later determined that Aguilar was a Mexican citizen and had fraudulently received $247,477.68 in government assistance payments.
On March 31, 2021, Aguilar pleaded guilty to one count of Theft of Public Money. In addition to the prison sentence, Aguilar was ordered to pay $247,477.68 in restitution. Aguilar has remained in federal custody since his arrest on April 18, 2019.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this case and thank our law enforcement partners for their diligence in investigating this matter and bringing it to a successful conclusion,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “This office is resolved to investigate and prosecute those crimes where people attempt to steal from finite resources that go to support the most vulnerable in our communities.”
“By concealing material information, Mr. Aguilar fraudulently gained entitlement to SSI, a critical safety net for eligible persons. He not only defrauded SSA, but in doing so, he also improperly received other federal benefits. His sentence shows our commitment to protect Social Security benefits and to hold accountable those who misuse its programs,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “I thank Homeland Security Investigations and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of the Inspector General for their investigative efforts. I also thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”
The Office of Inspector General - Social Security Administration and the Texas Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, with invaluable help from Homeland Security Investigations, investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Banister prosecuted the case.