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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fresno Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $113,000 In Social Security Benefits

FRESNO, Calif. — Ernedina Madrigal, 78, of Fresno, aka Mary Louise Madrigal, pleaded guilty today to stealing social security benefits, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, in September 1996, Madrigal applied for and began receiving social security benefits using a fraudulently-obtained social security number in her sister’s name. At that time, Madrigal already had applied for and was receiving social security benefits under her own name and legitimate social security number. For more than 16 years, Madrigal to unlawfully received social security benefits under the illicit social security number while also receiving benefits under her legitimate social security number. Madrigal also failed to report her receipt of earned income to the Social Security Administration. In all, Madrigal received approximately $113,000 in unlawful benefits.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Baker and Patrick Delahunty are prosecuting the case.

Madrigal is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on August 25, 2014. Madrigal faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 1:13-cr-341 AWI-BAM
Updated April 8, 2015