SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A woman facing charges related to identity theft and government fraud was in federal court Monday.
According to a news release by the Department of Justice, Andrea Perez, 48, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Springfield in connection with using another individual’s identity to fraudulently obtain government benefits.
Perez used another individual’s identity as a Puerto Rican citizen in order to obtain Section 8 housing assistance benefits as well as disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Perez fraudulently received $17,380 in Section 8 housing assistance benefits and approximately $12,570 in fraudulent Social Security benefits. The Social Security benefits were accrued from April 2019 through February 2021 and the Section 8 housing assistance from August 2017 through 2018.
The charge of false representation of a Social Security number can face a sentencing of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. The charge of theft of government money can also face up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss.