A West Hills man was arrested earlier this year in a Social Security fraud scheme that netted him $400,000 prior to his arrest. Jose Aguinaco Ugalde of West Hills, was charged with defrauding the Social Security Administration, and multiple counts of identity theft. Ugalde was among 22 people indicted by a federal grand jury in April. The 22 indictments represented an alleged loss of $2.6 million in fraudulent Social Security claims. Ugalde allegedly fraudulently collected benefits belonging to his father and former stepmother.
Social Security Fraud Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for federal program fraud or a related crime like identity theft, you need the assistance of an experienced Social Security fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. An experienced fraud attorney can help you prepare a strong defense, and work to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.
Social Security fraud is a serious crime, and the federal government is always looking for evidence of wrongdoing associated with this program. Often, the theft of benefits isn’t spotted right away, and people who engage in the practice believe (incorrectly) that no one has noticed. This actually works against defendants because by the time they’re indicted, the value of the misdirected benefits can seem astronomical.
While some SSA fraud cases are deliberate, others begin inadvertently, when a legitimate Social Security beneficiary dies and the process of reporting the death doesn’t go as it should. Without knowing that the beneficiary has died, or has become otherwise ineligible to collect benefits, the Social Security Administration continues to pay benefits. Compounding this issue is the fact that since 2013, all Social Security benefits have been direct-deposited.
If you’re arrested for SSA fraud, you need the assistance of an experienced, aggressive Social Security fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years, and excels in both state and federal criminal defense cases.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County Social Security fraud case.
Photo Credit: 401calculator.org, via Flickr.com