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O.C. couple charged with faking husband's death to get benefits

Santiago CarrascoRosa Carrasco

A Santa Ana husband and wife were charged Tuesday with faking the husband's death and stealing more than $400,000 in union and Social Security benefits.

Santiago Carrasco, 51, and Rosa Carrasco, 53, allegedly traveled to Mexico in summer 2004 to obtain a phony death certificate stating that he died of a heart attack there, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

In September 2004, Rosa Carrasco began collecting death benefits on behalf of her husband, prosecutors said. She received the money while they were living together in Santa Ana.

Prosecutors said the Carrascos were collecting the benefits up until their arrest Monday.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department and U.S. Social Security Administration launched an investigation after receiving information that the death was staged.

The Carrascos are expected to be arraigned Wednesday in the Central Jail in Santa Ana. Each is charged with two felony counts and sentencing enhancements.


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-- Robert J. Lopez

Photos: Santiago and Rosa Carrasco. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office.

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