HOUSTON (CN) – An illegal immigrant who got more than $100,000 in Social Security benefits by falsely claiming he was unemployed was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.
Javier Arreola Perez, 39, of Houston made the false statement in a 2007 work activity report used to determine eligibility for continued benefits, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement. Arreola pleaded guilty in November 2011.
“Arreola-Perez represented that he was not working and that he had not been employed since 2001, when in fact he had been working since August 2002,” prosecutors said. “He later admitted to SSA special agents that he knew he should have reported his employment but that he did not because he wanted to continue receiving benefits.”
Arreola-Perez was ordered to pay $120,706 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.
He will be put into deportation proceedings after he does his time, prosecutors said.