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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Undocumented Mexican Woman Sentenced For Theft

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Amira Avendano-Hernandez, 42, Clinton, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lynn S. Adelman to six months in federal prison and ordered to pay $ 231,920.50 in restitution for defrauding the Social Security Administration and the Wisconsin Medicaid and Federal Medicare programs.  

The investigation revealed that Avendano-Hernandez, an undocumented alien from Mexico, first applied for Social Security benefits using the name and social security number of another person on May 18, 2002, and submitted another application for benefits, signed as Wanda Aquino, on May 27, 2005 asserting a disability at the Monroe County Offices of Social Security.

Following the disability determination, and by using the name and social security number of another person, she became unlawfully eligible for Medicaid and began receiving monthly Social Security Disability Income checks in the total amount of $66,457.50 between April 2005 and December 2011. 

In addition, investigators obtained records that confirmed that from 2004 to 2009, the Medicaid program paid $153,074 and the Medicare program paid $12,389 to University of Wisconsin Health Center and other medical providers for the defendant’s care as a result of her fraudulent application for disability.     

The charges against Avendano-Hernandez are the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Jarosz.

Updated July 14, 2015