Guatemalan Woman Aracely Batres-Alonzo Living in Clarion, Iowa Sentenced for Using Illegally Obtained SNAP and SSI Funds
(STL.News) – A woman who illegally obtained SNAP and SSI funds was sentenced August 24, 2020, to time served.
Aracely Batres-Alonzo, age 26, from Guatemala received the prison term after an October 21, 2019, guilty plea to two counts of theft of U.S. government funds.
In a plea agreement, Batres-Alonzo admitted that between about January 1, 2016 and May 31, 2019, she used $43,346.00 in the form of Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps; and Family Investment Program (FIP) funds, to which the she was not entitled to. She fraudulently reported on her Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) applications and review/recertification eligibility documents (RREDs) that she and her spouse (father of her children) were not employed. The investigation showed her spouse had been working under an assumed name. The investigation also shows that Batres-Alonzo had been employed with several different companies since April 2015, and never reported her or her spouse’s income to DHS. This unreported income would have made the household ineligible for benefits.
Batres-Alonzo, the representative payee for her minor child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), concealed material information from the SSA in her capacity as her minor child’s representative payee. She failed to report her full household income to the SSA, causing her minor child to be overpaid $1,829.29 between April 1, 2018 and March 30, 2019.
Batres-Alonzo was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Batres-Alonzo was sentenced to 2 days’ time served. She was ordered to make $43,346 in restitution to the Department of Human Services and $1,829.29 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Fletcher and investigated by United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG), the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (IDIA).