SANTA ANA, Calif., Aug. 2 (UPI) — A California married couple were arrested for allegedly faking the death of the husband to collect $500,000 in benefits, officials say.
Lucio Rodriguez, 52, and his wife Rosa Carrasco, 53, were arrested Monday for suspicion of fraud, grand theft, theft of Social Security benefits and burglary, The Orange County Register reported.
The conspiracy allegedly began seven years ago when the two faked the death of Rodriguez by obtaining a death certificate from Michoacan, Mexico, that state the man died of heart failure there.
“They did admit to paying Mexican officials to obtain a death certificate,” said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Rosa Carrasco, believed to be the beneficiary of the death benefits, began collecting Social Security benefits and union benefits from Rodriguez’s previous job as a truck driver soon after the death was reported. Amormoino said she is suspected of collecting death insurance money as well, however, investigators are still looking into the type of policies the couple held at the time.
Authorities say the couple have collected at least $500,000 from since they faked Rodriguez’s death seven years ago.
Since his faked death, Rodriguez has been living under the name Santiago Carrasco. He acquired a driver’s license and began truck driving again in Fontana, where he was arrested.
Rosa Carrasco was arrested in Santa Ana at a Macy’s store where she worked.