Woman used stolen identity for 15 years to get passport, $39,000 in food stamps

A woman who fled from Puerto Rico to Kissimmee and used a stolen identity beginning in 2008 to get married and divorced, to receive $39,000 in food stamps, and to obtain a passport, has been sentenced to 31 months in prison.

Nilda Medina-Veguilla, 38, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza for aggravated identity theft, theft of government property, and making a false statement in a United States passport application.

According to court documents, Medina-Veguilla, who was born in Puerto Rico and is a U.S. citizen, was charged with counterfeiting and illegal appropriation by Puerto Rican law enforcement authorities in 2005.

A warrant was issued for Medina-Veguilla’s arrest in 2008 and that year, she moved to the continental United States. Upon arriving in the states, she obtained an identification card and a Florida driver’s license in the name of an identity theft victim.

For approximately 15 years, Medina-Veguilla used the victim’s identity in every aspect of her life, including her marriage and eventual divorce, criminal arrests, employment, taxes, and to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

On February 23, 2021, Medina-Veguilla applied for a U.S. passport at the South Creek Post Office in Orlando using the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the victim.

In order to prove her identity, Medina-Veguilla submitted a copy of the victim’s birth certificate from Puerto Rico, as well as one of the Florida driver’s licenses that she fraudulently obtained.

Over nearly a decade, from 2013 to 2022, Medina-Veguilla applied for SNAP benefits using addresses throughout Central Florida, as well as the victim’s name, date of birth, and SSN. In total, she obtained approximately $39,088 in benefits.

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