Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
WOMAN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR FRAUDULENTLY RECEIVING $118,000 IN PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BY FALSELY CLAIMING TO BE DIVORCED FROM POLICE OFFICER HUSBAND
FULLERTON – A woman was convicted and sentenced today for fraudulently receiving over $118,000 in public assistance benefits by falsely claiming that she was divorced and not financially supported by her police officer husband. Lydia Delrio Montelongo pleaded guilty yesterday, Dec. 7, 2011, to one felony count of medical insurance fraud with a sentencing enhancement for white collar crime over $100,000. She was sentenced to nine months in jail, ordered to pay over $118,000 in restitution, and up to six years in state prison stayed pending completion of five years of formal probation.
At the time of the crime, Montelongo was married to and lived with her husband, an employed Los Angeles Airport Police Department officer. The defendant was not employed and was financially supported by her husband. Montelongo was also covered by her husband’s medical insurance policy.
Beginning in December 2004, Montelongo applied for and illegally accepted social security benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), for which she did not qualify. Beginning in June 2005, the defendant applied for and illegally accepted Medi-Cal benefits, for which she did not qualify. Beginning in June 2008, Montelongo applied for and illegally accepted social services benefits through In-Home Support Services (IHSS) from the Orange County Social Services Agency (OCSSA).
The defendant defrauded these public assistance agencies by falsely claiming that she was no longer married to her husband, did not live with him, did not know his current whereabouts, and did not receive financial support from him. In all, Montelongo fraudulently received over $118,000 in benefits, for which she did not qualify.
The fraud was discovered after an anonymous tip was received by law enforcement. The evidence in this case did not show that the defendant’s husband was aware of the fraud.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation investigated this case with cooperation and assistance from OCSSA-IHSS, SSA, and the California Department of Health Care Services.
Deputy District Attorney Sean O’Brien of the White Collar Crime Team prosecuted the case.