Tampa Woman Pleads Guilty To Identity Theft, Passport And Food Stamp Fraud
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Nilda Medina-Veguilla (38, Tampa) has pleaded guilty to making false statements in an application for a United States passport, aggravated identity theft, and theft of government property. Medina faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a minimum mandatory penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment. Medina-Veguilla has also agreed to forfeit the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.
According to the plea agreement, Medina-Veguilla is a U.S. citizen who was born in Puerto Rico. In 2005, she was charged with counterfeiting and illegal appropriation. In 2008, a warrant was issued for her arrest. That same year, Medina-Veguilla left Puerto Rico and moved to the continental United States. There, she assumed the identity of “N.T.D.,” an individual she knew from Puerto Rico. Medina-Veguilla was married and divorced, arrested, employed, and taxed, all in the victim’s name. In February 2021, Medina-Veguilla applied for a U.S. passport using N.T.D.’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, and birth certificate. She also applied for and received “SNAP” benefits in N.T.D.’s name. The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP” – formerly known as “food stamps”) is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture that was authorized by congress to provide federal benefits to help low-income families buy food. In total, Medina-Veguilla fraudulently obtained more than $43,000 in SNAP benefits.
Medina-Veguilla’s fraudulent activity was exposed when Consular Affairs discovered the real N.T.D. had been issued a U.S. passport several years before Medina-Veguilla’s application.
This case was investigated by U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General, and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Rachel S. Lyons.