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Illegal Mexican worker in Iowa convicted for using fake social security card

CEDAR RAPIDS – An Illegal Meixcan woman who used a false identification document and someone else’s social security number was convicted by a jury this week after a one-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Maria Morales-Martinez, age 38, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the United States and residing in Postville, Iowa, was convicted of one count of unlawful use of an identification document and one count of misuse of a social security number.  The verdict was returned this morning following about 40 minutes of jury deliberations.

The evidence at trial showed that Morales-Martinez used the name, date of birth and Social Security number of another person when completing employment paperwork in August 2016 at a business in Postville, Iowa.  Specifically, Morales-Martinez presented the company with a fraudulent Minnesota ID card bearing her picture but the name and date of birth of another person.  She also used a Social Security card bearing the name and social security number assigned to that other person when completing state and federal tax forms.  Morales-Martinez admitted at trial that she used a second person’s name and social security number when employed at the company between 2010 and 2012, and the current alias name and social security number while employed at the company between August 2016 and December 2018.  Morales-Martinez was fired after the company discovered that Morales-Martinez was working using fraudulent documents.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared.  Morales-Martinez was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the verdict was returned and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  Morales-Martinez faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, and six years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.

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