- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A former New Mexico Human Services Department worker has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal food stamp program.

Joseph Martin Padilla pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud Monday in federal court in Albuquerque under a plea agreement that prosecutors said requires him to pay just over $181,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the 34-year-old Albuquerque resident also faces a prison term when he is sentenced.

An August 2014 indictment charged Padilla and five other people with defrauding the food stamp program in late 2009 and early 2010.

Specifically, Padilla was accused of using his position as a family assistance analyst to defraud the program by establishing fraudulent accounts for himself and others.

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