Man who used victims’ stolen identities to commit welfare fraud sentenced
A former St. Peter man who used his victim’s stolen identities to commit welfare fraud was sentenced Monday.
Martin Castro Rangel, 75, of Minneapolis, pled guilty to felony identity theft in Nicollet County Court. As part of a plea deal, felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance and making a false declaration for food stamps were downgraded to gross misdemeanors.
District Court Judge Todd Westphal stayed a one-year prison sentence for five years and sentenced Rangel to 99 days in jail, with credit for 99 days already served. Rangel must also pay $6,630 in restitution to his victims.
Prosecutors also agreed to dismiss multiple charges from two other cases against Rangle from January 2021, including providing police with a false name and driving after cancellation. Rangel pled guilty to one count of giving a peace officer a false name, but did not receive a sentence outside of his identity theft case.
Rangel was charged in 2021 after investigators learned he had stolen the identities of two out-of-state residents and used their identities to obtain welfare benefits in Nicollet County.