Pueblo man sentenced for fraudulently obtaining Social Security Disability payments
DENVER – Mike Louis Torres, a.k.a. Miguel Angel Torres, age 52, of Pueblo, Colorado, was sentenced on April 10, 2012 by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock to serve 21 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (disability benefits), the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General announced today. Torres appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded immediately following the hearing. Following his 21 month sentence, Torres was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release, and ordered to pay $42,430.50 in restitution.
Torres was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on August 16, 2011. He pled guilty on January 24, 2012. Torres was sentenced on April 10, 2012.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, Torres was awarded disability benefits in 1995. To qualify for disability benefits, Torres held himself out as so disabled that he was unable to engage in any substantial gainful activities. In February 2000, Torres used his deceased brother’s name and social security number to obtain two Colorado identification cards. Torres then used one or both of these fraudulent identification cards and worked under his deceased brother’s identity from 2000 through 2004 at one place of employment, and from 2004 through 2006 at another place of employment. He also worked under his own identity from 2001 through 2004 as well as in 2007 and 2008. Finally, he worked at yet another business from 2008 through 2010. While working, Torres concealed his work activity and earnings from the Social Security Administration (SSA). On June 3, 2009, Torres completed and filed with the SSA two forms on which he repeatedly falsely denied his work activity. Between December 2000 and February 2010, Torres obtained $50,800 in disability benefits that he was not entitled to due to his undisclosed work and earnings.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General.
Torres was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Kelley.