Tulare County woman indicted using a U.S. passport obtained through stolen identity

A Tulare County woman was indicted for using a United States passport that was obtained through stolen identity.

A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today charging Orosi resident Regina Chico-Garcia, 31, with making false statements in a passport application, using a passport secured by false statements, and identity theft, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

The indictment alleges that Chico-Garcia, who is not a citizen of the United States, used personal information of another person, including that person’s name and date of birth, to obtain a birth certificate and social security card. She then reportedly used those fraudulent documents and made false statements to secure a United States passport. On July 14, she attempted to enter the United States from Mexico using that fraudulent passport at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. She was arrested and has remained detained.

Chico-Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned on July 26, 2013, before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe.

If convicted, she faces a maximum statutory penalty for a violation of the passport fraud charges of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for the identity theft charge is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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