Illegal Alien Employed by Homeless Shelter Stole $80K From 3 Victims

Sergio Francisco Solorzano

Is this just about as low as it gets?   Phoenix Rescue Mission claims they didn’t know he was an illegal.

In January, an illegal alien from Guatemala, Sergio Francisco Solorzano, 42, was charged with stealing over $24,000 in Social Security benefits from a homeless man with schizophrenia who was staying at the Phoenix Rescue Mission where Solorzano worked.   The thefts occurred from January 2013 to October 2015.   After the man was reunited with his family, the benefits suddenly started showing up again, which triggered the investigation.  

Now, he faces ADDITIONAL charges, as authorities have learned of two more alleged victims, bringing total number of victims to three, and total theft to $80,000.  The additional crimes go back to February 2012.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission fired Solorzano in November 2015, after the first theft was discovered.  A spokesperson for the mission said they did not know Solorzano is actually an illegal alien from Guatemala, as he had a working Social Security number.   He had worked at the mission since 2002, and had access to all personal identifying information of all the residents living at PRM.

According to investigators, Social Security Administration (SSA) would mail checks or pre-loaded debit cards to the benefit recipient. Solorzano, as part of his duties at PRM, received all of the mail, which authorities say gave him access and the ability to steal the checks and pre-loaded debit cards from the victims.

Solorzano is accused of using some of the stolen benefits to pay for his $4,994 Qwest Communications bill and his $5,968 Century Link bill.

The investigation continues.  He is currently in custody on a $25,000 secured bond and an ICE hold.


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