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In a case brought to light by the Department of Justice (DOJ), a 38-year-old Kissimmee woman, Nilda Medina-Veguilla, has been sentenced to federal prison for 31 months. The charges include passport fraud, identity theft, and food stamp fraud, marking the end of a 15-year-long identity theft spree that netted almost $40,000.
Medina-Veguilla’s journey began in 2008 when she left Puerto Rico after a warrant was issued for her arrest on counterfeit and illegal appropriation charges. Upon reaching the U.S., she assumed a new identity, obtaining an ID card and a Florida driver’s license in someone else’s name. This stolen identity served her in various aspects of life, from personal events like marriage and divorce to criminal arrests, employment, tax purposes, and even food stamp applications.
The extent of her deception came to light on Feb. 23, 2021, when she applied for a U.S. passport in Orlando, using the stolen identity’s name, birthday, and social security number. To support her application, she submitted the victim’s Puerto Rican birth certificate and a fraudulently obtained Florida driver’s license.
The food stamp fraud unfolded between 2013 and 2022, during which Medina-Veguilla applied for food stamps using addresses in Central Florida, amassing a total of $39,088 worth of fraudulent benefits. In the legal aftermath, the court also entered an order of forfeiture for the entire amount that she unlawfully obtained.
The sentencing underscores the consequences of identity theft, shedding light on the intricate web of deceit woven by Medina-Veguilla over a decade and a half. The federal prison term serves as a repercussion for her actions, emphasizing the severity of the charges brought against her.
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