CITIZEN OF ECUADOR CHARGED WITH MISUSING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO RECEIVE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that TIMO JIMENEZ, 40, a citizen of Ecuador last residing on Fillmore Street in New Haven, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday, January 5, before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to one count of misuse of a Social Security number to receive unemployment insurance compensation benefits from the Connecticut Department of Labor. After pleading guilty, JIMENEZ was sentenced to approximately six months of imprisonment, time served.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately February 2007 to October 2010, JIMENEZ, while unlawfully residing in the United States, falsely obtained unemployment insurance compensation benefits from the Connecticut Department of Labor (“CT DOL”) by using a Social Security account number that was not assigned to him. Starting as early as 2004, JIMENEZ worked for a New Haven-area excavation company that paid unemployment insurance taxes to the CT DOL, and which listed JIMENEZ as an employee using a certain Social Security number. In February 2007, November 2008 and December 2009, JIMENEZ filed claims for unemployment insurance compensation benefits with the CT DOL. On each occasion, he falsely represented to the CT DOL that a Social Security account number was his, and that he was a United States citizen.
People who do not have a Social Security number or are not lawfully entitled to work in the United States are ineligible to receive unemployment insurance compensation benefits that employers pay to the Connecticut unemployment fund.
In 2010 and 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), was conducting a criminal investigation related to undocumented workers fraudulently seeking and receiving unemployment insurance compensation benefits. JIMENEZ was identified by investigators as having used a Social Security number that did not match the name of the person receiving the benefits.
Based on his false claims, the CT DOL sent JIMENEZ a total of $21,746 in unemployment insurance compensation benefit checks. Judge Burns ordered JIMENEZ to pay full restitution.
JIMENEZ, who has been detained since his arrest on July 7, 2011, has been transferred into the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be deported to Ecuador.
This matter was investigated by the United States Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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