A woman, Cherry Ann Etpison, a Philippine national, has been charged for Theft in Second Degree and Tampering with a Government Record after allegedly altering her Social Security card number and applying for financial assistance from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) under the CARES Act unemployment benefits, obtaining over $10,012.78, which she was not eligible for as Philippine citizen.
Ms. Etpison is charged with one count of felony charge, Theft in the Second Degree which is punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment and an optional fine of up to $10,000 and one count of Tampering with a Government Record, a misdemeanor charge punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year in jail and up or up to $1,000 fine.
According Police Detective Recheked Recheked’s affidavit, Ms. Cherry Ann Etpison had applied for pandemic unemployment assistance from WIOA in July of 2020. Her application was successful and she received first payment of $5,976.84 on July 27, 2020 and on September 3, she received second payment of $4,035.94.
Report stated that further review of the application showed tampering on the Social Security card. Interview with SSA staff showed that the number on the card has been tampered with and showed a prefix number 006 which identifies a Palauan national. Ms. Etpison’s Social Security card number has the prefix 009, which indicates that she was a Philippine national.
Report states that Cherry Ann Etpison, a Philippine national, has changed her social security card number in order to get money from WIOA which is only available to Palauan citizens.