PROVIDENCE – A Dominican national who used the stolen Social Security number and identity of a person living in Puerto Rico to fraudulently collect more than $50,000 in government- funded benefits in Rhode Island has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and is expected to face deportation proceedings.
Beginning in February 2014, Sonia Jourdain, 56, began using the stolen Social Security number and identity when applying to obtain Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. On the SNAP application, Jourdain falsely stated that neither she, nor anyone in her household, was not a United States citizen.
In May 2016, Jourdain used the stolen identity to fraudulently obtain a Rhode Island driver’s license, and, later, twice obtained temporary disability insurance (TDI) from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.
According to the government’s evidence presented at sentencing, Jourdain fraudulently obtained $40,070.90 in Medicaid benefits, $3,800.56 in SNAP benefits, and $8,213 in TDI payments.
On February 5, 2020, Jourdain pleaded guilty to false representation of citizenship, false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, theft of public money, and two counts of wire fraud. She was sentenced on April 7, 2021, to 30 months in federal prison to be followed by one year of federal supervised release, and to pay restitution in the amount of $52,084.46.
Jourdain is expected to face deportation proceedings upon completion of her term of incarceration.
Jourdain’s sentence is announced by Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus; Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker; Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General Phillip Coyne; Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Region of the Department of Labor – Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and Bethanne M. Dinkins, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.