Defendant stole more than $164,000 in housing, health care, and SNAP benefits
BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to false representation of a Social Security number and theft of public money.
Noemi Mejia, 51, pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number and theft of public money. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for July 16, 2019. Mejia was charged in May 2018 and released on conditions.
In August 2001, Mejia applied to participate in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 Program, which is administered by the Boston Housing Authority, using the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico. By falsely claiming that she was a U.S. citizen, Mejia was deemed eligible to receive Section 8 benefits. Mejia also applied for MassHealth benefits using the identity of a Puerto Rican citizen, which rendered her eligible for more expansive healthcare coverage. Mejia also used the stolen identity to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and to work.
While receiving benefits under the stolen identity, Mejia applied for and received additional Section 8 housing vouchers and Food Stamps using her true name. She received these benefits on behalf of her daughter, who is a United States citizen. The amount of the benefits received under these programs is determined, in part, by household income. Because Mejia did not report the income she earned using the stolen identity, she fraudulently received Section 8 benefits and Food Stamps in her true name.