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District Court, Kandiyohi County, Dec. 19

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Maria Guevara, 24, of Willmar, made her first appearance Wednesday on seven felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance and perjury.

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Unconditional bail was set at $4,000 with conditional release for $1,000. Her next court date is Dec. 29.

According to the complaint, during various periods since 2005, Guevara had applied for and received benefits from Kandiyohi County Family Services for herself and her children. She had reported that Fredis Lopez lived with her, but was not the father of the children.

Family services officials learned that Lopez was an illegal immigrant whose real name was Carlos Enrique Padilla. A recalculation of her benefits resulted in an overpayment of $627 in food support between August 2006 and February 2007. Both Guevara and Padilla signed numerous documents to receive the assistance.

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