The defendant gets a job, giving her name, date of birth, SSN, etc. as Regina Guzman. Three and a half years later, the real Regina Guzman calls the police and says someone has been using her identity. They investigate and find out that it's really Barron-Gonzalez.
The Court doesn't go into the obvious reason for Barron-Gonzalez using someone else's paperwork to get a job, but the fact that she speaks so little English the have to get a translator for her to talk to the police might give you a clue. Obviously, this lady is an undocumented worker. She's not using someone else's professional license or anything like that.
At trial, the prosecutor doesn't bring in Regina Guzman. The officer is allowed to testify that Guzman called him and complained, and that's not hearsay because the purpose is to show why the officer did what he did. There should have been at the very least a limiting instruction. I think at a minimum, the jury should have heard from Guzman. That she wasn't subpoenaed to trial (or didn't show up if she was) should be a red flag.
There's also a ruling on why there is, for practical purposes, no statute of limitations for forgery (it's a year after discovery by an aggrieved party). The prosecution has to show that the statute hasn't run. How do we know that Guzman only recently discovered the fraud? If it is indeed fraud and if indeed Guzman is aggrieved, that is. For all we know Guzman was less than diligent about notifying the police in time. Granted, this is pure speculation, but likewise it is pure speculation that the defendant was charged within one year of when the aggrieved party discovered the fraud. We just don't know, and when we just don't know the party with the burden of proof
But she's still convicted--of forgery. The jury could find she intended to defraud. I don't see that. Barron-Gonzalez, not Guzman worked at the job for three and a half years and earned the paycheck. We can all read between the lines and know that Barron-Gonzalez appropriated Guzman's identity not to defraud anyone, but in order to show eligibility to work. While the question whether that ought to be a crime remains open, the so-called forgery here was her signature on the I-9, the W-2 forms, and the back of her paychecks. Actually, Guzman should have kept her mouth shut, because when she ultimately gets social security, Barron-Gonzalez's earnings will help her in calculation of her retirement benefits.
This seems to me to be a classic example of how broadly worded criminal statutes are stretched to cover circumstances the legislature never contemplated. It's interpretations like this that help to account for our overpopulated prisons. Perhaps this worker should be deported (I don't even agree with that for different reasons) but it is a waste of a prison bed for this lady to be in prison. There's no harm here. We need a "no harm--no foul" rule in cases like this. Next time we have to release a violent felon early because there's just not enough room in our prisons, cases like this are to blame.