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Man gets jail, probation in $21,000 welfare fraud case

WILLMAR -- Isidoro Martinez, 29, of Clara City, was sentenced Thursday to 100 days in jail, five years of probation and a $50 fine on a felony charge of wrongfully obtaining assistance.

As part of his sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, Martinez was ordered to cooperate with agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and pay $21,065 in restitution, jointly with his wife.

He was given credit for 100 days already served in jail. A check forgery charge was dismissed.

Martinez and his wife, Sandra Veronica Martinez, 35, both pleaded guilty in December to lower-level felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance.

She will be sentenced March 8.

Martinez is also known as Bentino Narvaiz Jr. The original complaint against the couple notes they had lived in Willmar but moved to North Dakota. Court documents now list a Clara City address.

According to the complaint, the couple applied for assistance from Kandiyohi County Family Services in October 2003.

Their request was approved and, as recipients of assistance, they were required to report income and employment to the county. Isidoro Martinez was listed as being in the country illegally, thus unable to work.

An investigation following an anonymous tip revealed he had been working for Labor Choice under the Narvaiz name since the third quarter of 2002.

His income was not reported, resulting in an overpayment of benefits of $21,065.32 between Dec. 1, 2003, and Oct. 31, 2006. Documents also show he had endorsed several payments in the false name.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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