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Feb. 17, 2012

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Illegal Alien Sentenced for Making a False Claim for Social Security Benefits

HOUSTON – Javier Arreola-Perez, 39, of Houston, has been sentenced to federal prison for making a false statement to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and receiving more than $100,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon sentenced Arreola-Perez today to 15 months in prison and further ordered he pay restitution in the amount of $120,706 to the SSA. He pleaded guilty Nov. 18, 2011.

Arreola-Perez, who is not a United States citizen, made the false statement to the Social Security Administration in a 2007 work activity report that was used to determine his eligibility to continue receiving benefits. Arreola-Perez represented that he was not working and that he had not been employed since 2001, when in fact he had been working since August 2002. He later admitted to SSA special agents that he knew he should have reported his employment but that he did not because he wanted to continue receiving benefits.

Arreola-Perez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. He is expected to face deportation proceedings following completion of his prison term.

The SSA - Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the charges. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger prosecuted the case.