A former Phoenix Rescue Mission employee has been arrested after admitting to stealing thousands of dollars in benefits from at least one shelter resident.
Sergio Solorzano reportedly committed fraud, theft and computer tampering between January 2013 and October 2015. Court documents say he stole more than $24,000 in Social Security benefits from one known victim.
The victim, a vulnerable, homeless adult and shelter resident, had a trusting relationship with Solorzano for more than a decade, most of which was during Solorzano's employment.
Email evidence shows that Solorzano helped the victim with Social Security benefits, but the victim does not recall receiving any of those benefits after applying.
After being reunited with his family in 2015, it was discovered that Social Security had been paid out the whole time. Solorzano had been withdrawing cash payments from various ATMs.
When he was arrested, Solorzano says in addition to stealing monthly benefits from the victim, he took benefits from others as well, but they have not yet been identified.