SSN Misuse: Discovery of Passport Fraud Leads to $163,000 in Restitution to SSA

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Office Affiliation: 

Acting on a request for assistance from the Department of State, our San Diego office investigated a Mexican national, without legal status in the United States, for using a false identity to obtain Federal and State benefits. According to the State Department, two individuals had applied for U.S. passports using the same birth record, but two unique Social Security numbers. Our investigation revealed that the Mexican national had assumed the identity of a U.S. citizen and received Title II disability and retirement benefits, as well as Title XVI aged benefits, totaling $163,948.

In November 2010, after the man pled guilty to theft of government funds, false statement in application for a U S. passport, and criminal forfeiture, a U.S. District Court judge sentenced him to eight months’ imprisonment and three years of probation, and ordered restitution of $207,548:

  • $163,948 to SSA
  • $32,000 to Medicare
  • $11,600 to the California Department of Healthcare Services