A former Social Security Administration employee from Ellenton faces a decade in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to stealing government funds.
Vasty Araceli Jimenez, 32, pleaded guilty to theft of government money after she altered her pay stubs to make it appear that her gross pay was less than what she actually made, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The pay stubs purportedly came from her employer, the Social Security Administration.
The altered pay stubs were then provided to the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County when she applied for child care subsidies between 2011 and 2014. She also failed to disclose in the application that she was married, leaving out her husband and his income as part of the household, affecting the family’s eligibility, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Based on the altered pay stubs provided during that time and the omission of her husband’s information, Jimenez qualified for and received child care subsidies that she would not otherwise have been entitled to, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Jimenez also failed to disclose her marriage in re-application paperwork.
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Jimenez received approximately $48,895 in subsidies, which were paid directly to day care providers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The funding for the subsides was administered by the Office of Early Learning, a component of the Florida Department of Education, for the state.
Jimenez resigned from her position with the Social Security Administration before pleading guilty, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 19. Jimenez faces 10 years in federal prison.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Public Assistance Fraud and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.