THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE:
It started as a rather straightforward Social Security fraud investigation — a man receiving disability benefits pretending to live in the United States when in fact he lived in Tijuana.
What authorities uncovered was a 37-year identity theft scheme by an unauthorized immigrant and repeat felon who bilked federal, state and local governments out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits, according to a plea agreement entered in San Diego federal court this week.
Andres Avelino Anduaga — if that’s even his real name — admitted to assuming the identity of a U.S. citizen in 1980. Armed with a fake birth certificate, he developed a seemingly legitimate persona by applying for a California driver’s license, Social Security number and U.S. passport.