Two Women Arrested for Social Security Fraud

By: WCSO Release
By: WCSO Release

Crawfordville, Florida - June 22, 2011

A 29-year-old Gretna woman and a 39-year-old Tallahassee woman were charged with the fraudulent use of personal identification, a third degree felony, following an investigation into the theft of Social Security numbers, according to Wakulla County Sheriff David Harvey.

“Reina Fidelina Portillo of Gretna and Florencia Cruz-Ochoa of Tallahassee were arrested June 21 in connection with an investigation that stretched to Utah and Idaho,” said Sheriff Harvey. “The Social Security Administration contacted a female victim in Ogden, Utah and questioned why she was receiving Social Security benefits while also working at a Crawfordville business on Commerce Boulevard. The victim told Social Security that she wasn’t working and had never even heard of Crawfordville, Florida.”

WCSO investigators interviewed the suspects at the business and discovered that the two women purchased Social Security numbers with cash in Leon and Gadsden counties to gain employment. Cruz-Ochoa told investigators that she arrived in the United States from Mexico five years ago without documentation. She made her way from Arizona to Tallahassee and worked as a laborer in Gadsden County.

Portillo arrived in the United States from El Salvador and made her way through Texas and Alabama before landing in Gadsden County. The business helped WCSO confirm that the two women used the stolen Social Security information to gain employment.

WCSO investigators contacted the Chubbuck, Idaho victim about the case and she was unaware at the time that she was a victim of Social Security fraud.

The two women were transported to the Wakulla County Jail where they are being held under $5,000 bonds.

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