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Resident charged with four counts of forgery

A 56-year-old Austin resident was charged Friday with four counts of felony forgery after the Austin Medical Center noticed he checked in under two different names — both of which have unpaid bills.

Jose Angel Perez is in custody on $75,000 bail. He is scheduled for arraignment May 20.

According to a criminal complaint, AMC staff noticed the issue in late February, as the defendant checked in one day using his true name, while checking in a day later as “Juan Antonio Sanchez.”

Records indicated that “Sanchez” was employed at Hormel, and that he had lived in Texas, Iowa, Nevada and California since 1998. During that same name, Perez was listed with addresses in Austin and Albert Lea.

Police also compared a 1997 booking photo of Perez, who was arrested in Austin for driving while intoxicated, with the “Sanchez” ID provided to AMC. The man in both photos was the same, the complaint states.

In April, an unidentified police informant told police that Perez used the “Sanchez” name to work illegally and that he lived at 507 Fifth Ave. NW, the complaint states. Hormel records also indicated that the defendant lived at that address.

On May 6, police executed a search at 507 Fifth Ave. NW, finding Perez inside along with several other residents. Perez told police that he found a wallet in Albert Lea roughly 10 years ago that had a birth certificate and Social Security card belonging to “Sanchez.” He admitted that he used the documents to get an Iowa driver’s license, which helped him secure work at Hormel.

Other documents were found in the house, including Mexican identity cards in Perez’s name, as well as other IDs linked to a different alias. Perez said he used the second alias to work in Illinois for a short time.

Overall, he said he had been in the U.S. for 16 years, the last 10 of which were spent in Minnesota, the complaint states.

According to records, Perez owes AMC nearly $29,000 for bills under both his real name and the “Sanchez” alias.