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Document and Benefit Fraud

South Dakota man sentenced to 4 1/2 years in federal prison for stealing identities to obtain welfare and other benefits

MINNEAPOLIS – A Sioux Falls, S.D., man was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in federal prison Monday for stealing the identities of others and using that information to obtain welfare benefits, credit cards and other items of value. This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

Antonio Antwon Andolini, 36, formerly of New Brighton, Minn., was sentenced to 54 months imprisonment on one count of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft in connection with the crime. In addition, he was ordered to pay $19,147.98 in restitution.

Andolini admitted that beginning in 2008 he obtained the personal identification information of at least 17 people and used that information to obtain money and other things of value. The personal information included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers. Andolini also admitted using several of the personal identifiers to obtain driver's licenses and identification cards in at least nine different names.

Andolini used one person's identity to obtain $10,381.91 in benefits from the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department (Hennepin County), and $1,190 in housing assistance from Anoka County Community Emergency Assistance Program. Andolini also used this victim's information to rent an apartment and fraudulently obtain credit cards. In addition, Andolini admitted that in July 2008, he used the identity of another victim to rent another apartment, obtain credit cards and receive $367 in benefits from Hennepin County.

Andolini used numerous other victims' personal identifiers to obtain credit and debit cards, create and pass counterfeit checks, rent post office boxes, and acquire an identification card in South Dakota. In his plea agreement, Andolini admitted that loss to victims as a result of his scheme was about $20,000.

This case was investigated by the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, an HSI-led multi-agency task force that coordinates investigations into fraudulently obtained documents and government benefits.