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Anchorage man pleads guilty to PFD fraud

Posted: May 31, 2012 - 12:12am

An Anchorage resident pleaded guilty to submitting false statements on his children’s PFD applications with the intent to mislead public servants.

Slimane Benarroudj, 50, changed his plea Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Louis Menendez. He participated in the hearing by phone from Anchorage.

Benarroudj agreed to plead guilty to one count of first-degree unsworn falsification, a class ‘C’ felony, for failing to disclose out-of-state absences on his four children’s PFD applications in 2008.

Assistant Attorney General Anne Preston with the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals said Benarroudj’s children were not eligible to receive PFD money since they were out of the state of Alaska for more than 180 days, which he failed to disclose, she said.

In exchange for Benarroudj’s guilty plea, the state dropped all other charges against him and against his co-defendant — his wife, Kheira Benarroudj, 37.

The Benarroudjs were both indicted by a Juneau grand jury in February on multiple counts of unsworn falsification, theft, attempted theft and scheme to defraud.

The indictment accused Slimane of submitting fraudulent PFD applications in his own name and as the sponsor of his four children from 2007 to 2010 in the amount of $34,237. His wife was accused of submitting fraudulent applications in her own name during the sane time frame to the tune of $7,509.

The proposed plea deal reached with prosecutors calls for Benarroudj to pay back the $34,237 and $7,509 in full within two years.

If the judge accepts the plea deal, Benarroudj will be banned from applying for and receiving PFD checks for life. His children would still be able to receive PFD checks if sponsored by an eligible guardian, Menendez said.

The plea deal also calls for Benarroudj to serve 730 days of jail time with 685 days suspended. That means 45 days to actually serve, but Benarroudj could choose to do 360 hours of community service instead.

Additionally, Benarroudj will be fined $5,000, although all of it would be suspended, and he would be on supervised probation for four years, according to the agreement. The probation time could be terminated early if he pays the restitution and completes the community work service early, according to the agreement.

Benarroudj would also be required to write a letter of apology to the commissioner of the Department of Revenue in Juneau.

Menendez said he would decide whether to accept the agreement during the sentencing hearing, scheduled for early September. Menendez required Benarroudj appear in person in Juneau for the sentencing.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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