Dominican National Indicted for Identity Theft, Theft of Government Benefits
PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national who allegedly failed to leave the United States after her six-month visa expired in June 2003, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence for allegedly using the stolen identity of a woman living in Puerto Rico to obtain a Rhode Island driver’s license and government financed health care, unemployment, disability and food stamp benefits.
The grand jury on Tuesday returned a six-count indictment charging Sonia Jourdain, 54, with false representation of citizenship, false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, theft of public money, and two counts of wire fraud.
According to court documents, it is alleged that in February 2014, Jourdain, using a stolen identity and Social Security number of another person, filed an application to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. On the application, Jourdain falsely stated that she, nor anyone in her household, was not a United States citizen.
It is alleged that in February 2014, Jourdain used a stolen identity to obtain government paid health care benefits; in May 2016 to obtain a Rhode Island driver’s license; in December 2016 to obtain SNAP benefits; in March 2017 to receive temporary disability insurance (TDI) from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training; and in October 2017 to obtain unemployment insurance benefits from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.
It is alleged in court documents that Jourdain fraudulently received $9,942 in health care benefits, $5,928 in unemployment insurance benefits, $2,285 in TDI benefits, and more than $1,000 in SNAP benefits.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The indictment of Sonia Jourdain is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh; Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Region of the Department of Labor - Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and Bethanne M. Dinkins, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.
The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.