By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
A former Wasco resident was indicted Thursday on suspicion of stealing more than $120,000 in Social Security benefits.
A federal grand jury indicted Rosaura M. Tinajero, 56, of Omaha, Neb., charging her with alleged theft of public money and two counts of wire fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of California.
According to court documents, Tinajero's mother, a Social Security benefits recipient, died in 1987. The Social Security Administration was not notified of her death, and distribution of benefits continued from June 1987 to June 2009.
From March 1995 to June 2009, Tinajero obtained the benefits meant for her deceased mother by check and direct deposit, the news release said. She allegedly used the money while knowing that she was not entitled to the benefits.
If convicted, Tinajero faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for theft of public money. Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.