Food Workers Arrested For Using Fraudulent Ss Numbers

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Police arrested five fast food workers Thursday morning for using fraudulent Social Security numbers for employment.

Officers are looking for three more workers suspected of using stolen numbers purchased in the Valley for employment at McDonald’s and Del Taco.

So far, Santiago Garcia, 29; Iris Gonzales, 28; Julia Mendoza, 25; Aurora Marquez, 50; and Lucia Jimenez, 28; have been arrested on the charge of taking the identity of another, a class four felony, said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.

Police started their investigation of the McDonald’s and Del Taco workers, all illegal immigrants, a month ago after a local resident reported eight workers were using falsified Social Security numbers.

Investigators made the arrests after reportedly determining the numbers were stolen.

During interviews, all five individuals admitted to purchasing the fraudulent cards in the Phoenix area. All were booked into the Gila County Jail.

Although all were illegal immigrants, Engler said the investigation has nothing to do with the state’s new immigration law.

“It is strictly a criminal case where fraud was taking place,” he said.

Neither business faces charges, although Engler said the investigation is ongoing. Police continue looking for three other individuals, one believed to be in New Mexico.

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