A social security employee plead guilty Thursday to stealing thousands of dollars over a period of several months
Josue Edgardo Castro, a San Ysidro resident, admitted to stealing more than $5,700 in money orders.
According to a press release by the U.S. Attorney's office, the theft began in Sept. 2015.
Castro admitted that he had been in charge of accepting payments on behalf of the Social Security Administration. On at least 21 occasions, he accepted the money and deposited it into his personal bank account.
He then waived the fees charges to overpaid social security beneficiaries.
As a result, the Social Security Administration lost $9,000 due to over payment waivers filed by Castro.
Investigators discovered the theft when a victim reported that a payment was not showing up in her records.
“Crimes committed by federal employees are some of the most egregious violations of the public trust. Today’s guilty plea is a tangible result of my office and the Social Security Administration’s commitment to root out crime wherever it may be," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, in a statement.
According to his plea agreement, Castro agreed to return the money he had taken from accounts and pay back the Social Security Administration for extra costs.
If he is convicted, he could face a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.
His hearing is scheduled for April 3, 2017.