SANTA FE – Jasonn Gonzales, a Velarde accountant, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme used to defraud the federal and state unemployment insurance system.
When Gonzales and co-defendant Gerald Archuleta of Ojo Caliente were indicted in March, federal officials alleged they set up bogus companies and then filed claims under the names of real people seeking more than $1.3 million in unemployment benefits, actually collecting in excess of $800,000. Archuleta, about 43, has pleaded not guilty.
The indictment alleges that from 2009 to 2012, Gonzales and Archuleta defrauded the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and similar agencies in Texas and Colorado. They used real names with corresponding dates of birth and Social Security numbers without the knowledge of the individuals whose names were used. The two men also obtained post office boxes in Santa Fe, Española, Embudo, Alcalde and Santa Cruz to receive payments.
At sentencing, Gonzales faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and each of the five mail fraud charges.