Illegal Immigrant Stole $300k From American Government With Stolen Identity

Talk about a major heist. An illegal immigrant stole $300k from the American government in disability benefits over 30 years. This is according to a plea he entered in San Diego federal court Thursday.

The illegal immigrant, 66-year-old Andres Avelino Anduaga, stole the identity of a Texas resident named Abraham Riojos in 1980. He used his identity to get a social security number, U.S. passport and a California driver’s license.

After obtaining those documents he received $361,000 in fraudulent benefits. These benefits included Medi-Cal, food stamps and SSI. He received the benefits from 1981 to 2016.

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The largest portion of his benefits came from SSI, which are intended to help people who are physically unable to work due to being elderly, blind or disabled. From 1988 to 2016 he received $244,441 in SSI disability payments.

He received $112,981 in assistance from the Medi-Cal program in California, per the Los Angeles Times. Additional to that he received over $3,486 in food stamp benefits from a program provided by the county.

Per Western Journal:

“The programs that this defendant stole from — for decades — provide benefits to America’s most needy,” U.S Attorney Adam Braverman said in a statement.

“This prosecution demonstrates the commitment of the United States Attorney’s Office to protecting the integrity of our welfare programs and punishing those who prey on the goodwill of our nation and its taxpayers.”

By assuming Riojos’ identity, Anduaga was also able to travel freely across the U.S.-Mexico border, which he did several times a week through the San Ysidro port of entry.

His fake ID documents also allowed him to avoid detection for dozens of crimes for which he had been charged under other false names.

Anduaga was finally arrested Nov. 28 during one of his San Ysidro crossings. Investigators subsequently learned that he had a criminal history under 21 different names and six dates of birth dating back to 1974, according to the L.A. Times.

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