PHOENIX, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) – A shelter worker accused of stealing from the homeless now faces additional charges.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Wednesday that more criminal charges have been filed against a former employee at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Sergio Solorzano was accused of stealing social security benefits from the homeless. Now, a state Grand jury has indicted Solorzano on three additional felony charges of Fraudulent Schemes & Artifices, Theft and Taking the Identity of Another.
Following Solorzano’s arrest in January 2016, the Attorney General’s Office has learned of two more alleged victims, bringing the total number of alleged victims to three.
From February 2012 to October 2015, Solorzano allegedly stole approximately $80,000 in benefits from three different victims while they lived at the Phoenix Rescue Mission (PRM).
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.
Solorzano had worked at the PRM since 2002 and had access to all personal identifying information of all the residents living at PRM.
An ongoing investigation into Solorzano continues.
He is currently in custody on a $25,000 secured bond and an ICE hold.
Following Solorzano’s initial arrest, Phoenix Rescue Mission spokeswoman Nicole Pena emailed the following statement:
“Phoenix Rescue Mission exists to improve and transform the lives of those in our care. Their welfare and protection are something we are devoted to every day, and that dedication is reflected in the rigorous controls we have in place.
“In November, we became aware that one of our employees may have misappropriated a shelter resident’s social security benefits. We immediately made an internal inquiry, found inconsistencies in the employee’s statements and released him from employment. We notified authorities and have fully cooperated with the investigation.