Tampa Woman Pleads Guilty To Identity Theft, Passport And Food Stamp Fraud

Tampa Woman Pleads Guilty To Identity Theft, Passport And Food Stamp Fraud

Sep 12, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Nilda Medina-Veguilla (38, Tampa) has pleaded guilty to making false statements in an application for a United States passport, aggravated identity theft, and theft of government property. Medina faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a minimum mandatory penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment. Medina-Veguilla has also agreed to forfeit the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

According to the plea agreement, Medina-Veguilla is a U.S. citizen who was born in Puerto Rico. In 2005, she was charged with counterfeiting and illegal appropriation. In 2008, a warrant was issued for her arrest. That same year, Medina-Veguilla left Puerto Rico and moved to the continental United States. There, she assumed the identity of “N.T.D.,” an individual she knew from Puerto Rico. Medina-Veguilla was married and divorced, arrested, employed, and taxed, all in the victim’s name. In February 2021, Medina-Veguilla applied for a U.S. passport using N.T.D.’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, and birth certificate. She also applied for and received “SNAP” benefits in N.T.D.’s name. The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP” – formerly known as “food stamps”) is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture that was authorized by congress to provide federal benefits to help low-income families buy food. In total, Medina-Veguilla fraudulently obtained more than $43,000 in SNAP benefits.

Medina-Veguilla’s fraudulent activity was exposed when Consular Affairs discovered the real N.T.D. had been issued a U.S. passport several years before Medina-Veguilla’s application.

This case was investigated by U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General, and the Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Rachel S. Lyons.

Read more from the SSA: Read More