Peralta man sentenced to prison term

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A Peralta man was sentenced to a 26-month term in federal prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to identity theft in May.

Federal prosecutors said Ollie Fayn Smith, 66, stole another person's identity in 1991 in order to collect their disability benefits. He is charged with Social Security fraud, theft of government property, forging endorsements on U.S. Treasury checks, making a false statement and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors said Smith stole another person's birth certificate in Pennsylvania and used the person's name and date of birth to obtain a New Mexico driver's license.

Officials said Smith admitted to obtaining a replacement Social Security card with the other person's name and using their personal information to collect about $46,500 over a five-year period.

He admitted to receiving the other person's checks, endorsing and cashing them.

Smith also received $4,700 in retirement benefits during a three-month span in 2008. Smith used the other person's identity to evade outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Smith is ordered to pay $46,543 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. He entered a guilty plea to the charges on May 20.


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