A Woodbury woman was sentenced Friday for using an alternative identity to obtain more than $18,000 in low-income housing tax credits.
Victoria Ayoola, 53, was sentenced to two years of probation on a count of Social Security fraud and one count of making false statements, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Ayoola was also ordered to pay $18,114 in restitution.
She was indicted on July 10, 2012, and pleaded guilty on Aug. 23, 2012. U.S. District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen handed down the sentence.
“This type of fraud poses serious security vulnerability, one that often contributes to a host of other crimes —including identity theft and financial fraud. Targeting schemes like this that enable individuals to obtain fraudulent U.S. identity documents is a top priority for ICE HSI, and we are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to detect, investigate, and dismantle this type of activity,” Michael Feinberg, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations’ St. Paul Field Office, said in a statement.
As part of a plea agreement, Ayoola admitted she secured a fraudulent Social Security card under the name Oluremi George on Nov. 19, 1996, the release says.
She later applied for a low-income unit at Pondview Townhomes, a Woodbury development that provides housing assistance through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loans and funds.
In an effort to qualify for the subsidized housing unit, she reported her anticipated 2011 income would be $30,930, even though she knew it would be approximately $55,887.
The result was more than $18,000 in underpayments of rent since 2004, according to the release.
Ayoola also used the fake identity to apply for and renew Minnesota identification cards and driver’s licenses, seek and obtain employment, and file federal and state tax returns, according to the release.
The case was the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations’ St. Paul Field Office and its Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the Minnesota State Patrol, with assistance from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne.