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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Man Sentenced for Embezzling $121,000+ in Disability Benefits

A man who embezzled more than $120,000 in social security disability benefits has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Robert Salinas, 53, pleaded guilty in June 2020 to theft of government funds. He was sentenced on Thursday by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn.

According to plea papers, in 2010, Mr. Salinas began receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits for back problems, which he continued to collect through 2018. He also collected auxiliary benefits for his minor daughter.

The defendant admitted that in 2011, he took a trucking job with AMX, which included loading, unloading, and driving.

Knowing that the SSA would not continue to pay him benefits if they knew he was employed, Mr. Salinas failed to disclose his change in employment status to the SSA and concealed his job from the government by applying for and working under an alias, using a false social security number, alien registration number, and counterfeit permanent residence card.  

From July 2011 through October 2018, Mr. Salinas collected $121,743.30 in Title II disability insurance benefits and child auxiliary benefits to which he was not entitled, he admitted.

The case against Mr. Salinas was initiated pursuant to receiving a referral from the SSA fraud hotline, 1-800-269-0271.

“We will continue to aggressively defend the integrity of Social Security’s disability programs to ensure those benefits remain available to those who truly qualify,” said Adam Schneider, Special Agent-in-Charge of the of the SSA OIG Dallas Field Division. “I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their support, and their efforts to bring this individual to justice and recover funds for Social Security.”

The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller and SSA Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna Rudoff prosecuted the case.

Financial Fraud
Erin Dooley Public Affairs 214-659-8707
Updated April 9, 2021