Ex-Dona Ana County worker pleads guilty in identity theft case

Judges gavel

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – An ex-document technician at a southern New Mexico county clerk’s office has pleaded guilty in a check-cashing scheme.

Prosecutors in Las Cruces say 43-year-old Maria Ceniceros pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft of government property and aggravated identity theft charges along with 51-year-old Armando Gutierrez-Torrez.

The two were arrested in May and indicted the following month along with several others.

Authorities say Gutierrez-Torrez delivered checks to Ceniceros that were gleaned from identities used to create fraudulent tax returns.

Three other document technicians at the Dona Ana County clerk’s office were arrested in June and accused of knowingly notarizing falsified documents.

Under terms of their plea agreements, Ceniceros and Gutierrez-Torres both will be sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Gutierrez-Torres will be deported to his native Mexico after serving his sentence.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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