|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
August 2, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MARRIED COUPLE CHARGED WITH STEALING OVER $400,000 IN SOCIAL SECURITY AND UNION PENSION DEATH BENEFITS BY FAKING HUSBAND’S DEATH
SANTA ANA – A married couple will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing between $400,000 and $500,000 in death benefits over a 7-year period by faking the husband’s death. Santiago Carrasco, 51, and Rosa Carrasco, 53, both of Santa Ana, are each charged with two felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, the defendants both face a maximum sentence of seven years and eight months in state prison. They are being held on $500,000 bail each in this case and are both subject to a no-bail U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement hold. The defendants are expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
Prior to 2004, Santiago Carrasco is accused of living with his wife, Rosa Carrasco, for approximately two decades under the assumed name Lucio Rodriguez.
In the summer of 2004, the defendants are accused of plotting to fake “Lucio Rodriguez’s” death so that the couple could collect Social Security and union pension death benefits. In August 2004, Santiago Carrasco is accused of traveling to Mexico and bribing authorities in order to obtain a death certificate under his alias using fraudulent information that he had died in Mexico of a heart attack. He is accused of then returning to the United States and living under his real name.
The couple is accused of continuing to live together in Santa Ana after the fake death of Lucio Rodriguez. Beginning in September 2004, Rosa Carrasco is accused of collecting financial death benefits on behalf of her husband and her until both defendants were arrested yesterday, Aug. 1, 2011.
While fraudulently collecting death benefits, both defendants are accused of being employed. Rosa Carrasco is accused of working in a retail store at South Coast Plaza and Santiago Carrasco is accused of working as a truck driver based out of the City of Fontana.
In all, the defendants are accused of collecting between $400,000 and $500,000 in fraudulently obtained funds. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Social Security Administration began investigating this case after receiving information that the defendants had faked Santiago Carrasco’s death. The investigation is ongoing.
Deputy District Attorney Matt Lockhart of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.