A former Santa Ana resident accused of conspiring with his wife to fake his death seven years ago she could collect insurance his benefits was arrested in Fontana on Monday.
Lucio Rodriguez, 52, and his wife, 53-year-old Rosa Carrasco, are accused of faking his death in 2004, claiming he had died of cardiac arrest and presenting an authentic Mexican death certificate, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Rodriguez, however, was alive and well, and began living under the name Santiago Carrasco, Amormino said. Rodriguez obtained a drivers license and a Social Security card under the new name, Amormino said. Acting on a tip, investigators found that the thumbprint on Santiago Carrasco’s drivers license matched the one on Rodriguez’s license, .
“Since 2004, suspect Rosa Carrasco has been collecting monthly Social Security and Teamsters benefits for her and their four children,” Amormino said. “The amount so far has been in excess of $500,000. In addition, it’s believed that Rosa Carrasco was the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or policies at the time of Lucio’s death.”
He said investigators were still trying to determine the exact amount of the insurance benefits she is believed to have collected.
Rodriguez, who had been living in Riverside County, was arrested at about 10 a.m. at Morgan Southern Trucking in Fontana, where he had been working as a truck driver. Rosa Carrasco was arrested around 2 p.m. at Macy’s department store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, where she worked, Amormino said.
Amormino said the couple initially continued living together even after faking Rodriguez’s death.
Both were being held without bail on suspicion of fraud, grand theft, identity theft, theft of Social Security benefits and burglary.