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Contact: Steve Lowe, (360) 664-5767 , steve.lowe@dshs.wa.gov
Contact: Kathleen Spears, (360) 902-7893, kathleen.spears@dshs.wa.gov
February 21, 2013
Yakima man impersonates dead man to get DSHS benefits

OLYMPIA: Guillermo Diaz Cardenas, 54, pled guilty in United States District Court to one count of theft and one count of aggravated identity theft after using a dead Texas man's identity to get benefits through the state Department of Social and Health Services.

Between January 2007 and December 2011, Cardenas, a Yakima resident, obtained financial, medical and food assistance from DSHS. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 6, 2013.

Cardenas supplied DSHS with false information on public assistance applications, including the Texas birth certificate and Social Security card of another person.

He was ordered to pay $50,198.15 to Washington state and will be imprisoned for 45 months.

This case was investigated jointly by DSHS Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA), the Social Security Administration/Office of Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alison L. Gregoire.

Welfare Fraud in Washington state can be reported by calling 1-800-562-6906.

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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.