Providence Man Admits to Passport Fraud, Theft of Government Funds and Fraudulent Use of Another Person’s Identity to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits

Jul 14, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Rhode Island:

PROVIDENCE – A Providence man admitted to a federal judge that he fraudulently collected more than $230,000 in Social Security Administration (SAA) disability benefits in his own name, all the while continuing to work using another person’s identity, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Additionally, Leonardo Durango, 62, admitted that he used the name of that same person, without his knowledge, to fraudulently collect more than $26,000 in federally funded COVID-related unemployment benefits, and that he also made a false statement in a U.S. passport application. Durango admitted that he was not entitled to receive the funds.

Durango pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of concealment to disclose affecting rights to SSA benefits payments, passport fraud, and theft of government property.

Durango is scheduled to be sentenced on October 12, 2023. The defendants’ sentences will be determined by a federal judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ly T. Chin.

The matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Social Security Administration, and U.S. Department of Labor.

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