Marta Elizabeth Maria Belen Paz Ligorria, former honorary consul of Guatemala, has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud. She admitted Tuesday in U.S. District Court that she submitted a fraudulent Social Security claim and illegally received more than $76,000 in federal money.
The maximum sentence would be five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.Paz Ligorria, a native of Guatemala and a resident of the United States for 13 years, was arrested in 1997 and charged with falsely claiming survivor's benefits. Officials say she stated in 1992 that she was married to Bernhard Palm when the marriage had been annulled the year before.
Paz Ligorria acknowledged Tuesday that she had collected benefits for herself and her two children by falsely claiming she was married and living with Palm at the time of his death in February 1992.