Ontario Woman Arrested in Connection to 1998 Welfare Fraud Case: DA’s Office

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An Ontario woman accused of failing to pay more than $30,000 in restitution and fines connected to a 1998 welfare fraud case has been arrested, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Raquel Serrano is seen in a booking photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Raquel Serrano is seen in a booking photo released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Raquel Serrano, 55, was taken into custody on Dec. 20, 2016, at her workplace, according to a news release from the DA’s office.

Serrano and her husband, Juan Serrano, were prosecuted after committing welfare fraud in 1998 to collect some $40,000 in benefits, the release stated. The couple received 3-year suspended sentences and were ordered to pay back the money, complete some jail time and perform community service.

However, the Serranos allegedly failed to comply by April 2006, having paid back about $9,000 by that point. Their probation was revoked and a judge issued no bail bench warrants for their arrests.

Juan Serrano died in 2012, but the woman evaded capture for nearly a decade.

In 2016, Serrano filed a motion to have her conviction vacated, saying she had completed the terms of her probation and paid the restitution, the release stated. The DA’s office reviewed the old case file, and discovered she still owed nearly $31,000.

A senior investigator learned that Serrano worked in Ontario and had recently purchased a $313,000 home in the area. She allegedly used several forms of identification to avoid arrest, according to the DA’s office.

Serrano is being held at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in San Bernardino on a no bail warrant. She is scheduled to appear at the San Bernardino Justice Center on Jan. 23, 2017.

Serrano’s arrest came as the District Attorney’s Office has been trying to crack down on welfare fraud. Between Jan. 2016 and Nov. 2016, the DA’s office filed about 200 cases related to welfare fraud, totaling $1,571,060.25 in recoverable value.