Illegal Immigrant From Mexico Uses Fake Identity For 37 Years to Steal $361,000 in Govt Benefits


A man from Tijuana, Mexico admitted in federal court that he assumed the identity of an American citizen for 37 years in order to enter the country and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal, state and local government benefits.

Fox News reported:

Andres Avelino Anduaga, 66 – who hails from Tijuana, Mexico – admitted in San Diego federal court on Thursday that he assumed the fake identity of a Texas resident named Abraham Riojos in 1980 after obtaining a fraudulent birth certificate, and then successfully applied for a California driver’s license, Social Security number and passport.

From 1989 to 2016, according to the plea agreement, he received around $361,000 in benefits — which included Medi-Cal, food stamps and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The fake identity also enabled Anduaga – identified as an illegal immigrant and repeat felon – to go back-and-forth without restriction between Mexico and the United States, which he was alleged to have been doing multiple times per week.

”The programs that this defendant stole from – for decades – provide benefits to America’s most needy. 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,” stated U.S Attorney Adam Braverman.

From 1989 to 2016, according to the plea agreement, he received around $361,000 in benefits — which included Medi-Cal, food stamps and Supplemental Security Income benefits.

It is not clear how Anduaga got ahold of Riojos’ identity, although authorities have suggested the two didn’t know each other. As far as how he was able to apply for a Social Security number using a fake birth certificate and someone else’s identity, blame it on the times. Prosecutors say in 1980, an analogue era without computers, identity theft was harder to detect and easier for forgers to pull off.