As if immigrants attempting to enter into the U.S. haven’t endured enough hardship, The U.S. Department of Justice announced on June 28ththat a former top attorney working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was stealing immigrant identities. Former Chief Counsel Raphael A. Sanchez, who worked with ICE for nearly 17 years, was sentenced to 48 months in prison for a wire fraud and aggravated identity theft scheme involving the identities of numerous aliens.
Sanchez who had been assigned to oversee “immigration removal proceedings in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington,” admitted that he intentionally devised a scheme to defraud aliens in various stages of immigration removal proceedings with ICE.” He collected their personal information and would use it to open lines of credit and even personal loans. “He manipulated their credit bureau files,” transferred funds to himself, and purchased things using credit cards he had issued in their names. Sanchez abused the access he had to the ICE official computer database system and retrieved immigrant files for his own personal benefit. The source states that he then “used his work computer to forge identification documents, including Social Security cards and Washington State driver’s licenses, in the victims’ names.”
 
The schemes didn’t end there.
 
Sanchez also admitted that he listed his home address as the aliens’ on account paperwork, opened email accounts in their name, and even created utility accounts using their personal information so that he covered his tracks and had adequate proof to obtain the lines of credit. After going as far as creating false earning statements so that he could register a car in one immigrant’s name, he managed to collect and spend more than $190,000. He would use PayPal, Amazon, Square, Venmo, and Coin to process transactions. He would make online purchases using the alien’s name and have the items shipped to his address.
The Department of Justice also highlighted that Sanchez “employed credit-monitoring services and corresponded with credit bureaus in the names of aliens to conceal his fraud scheme.” In 2014, 2015, and 2016, he also claimed three immigrants as dependents on his tax returns for those years. Aside from the prison sentence, the former ICE employee is now required to pay $190,345.63 in restitution.
After the public was made aware of the scheme Sanchez carried out, ICE’s Principal Legal Advisor assured that their “employees are held to the highest standards of professional conduct. Individuals who violate the public’s trust will face consequences for their actions, as Mr. Sanchez did in this case. Corruption will not be tolerated.”However, this case may have resulted in many feeling uneasy and uncertain that ICE is protecting their personal information or handling their case properly.
The truth is, society has seen how far ICE and U.S. Customs Border and Protection (CBP) agents are willing to go when they carried out the “zero-tolerance” policy and have now recognized the lengths the Trump administration is willing to go to keep immigrants out of the U.S. With immigrant information compromised, that could potentially affect their ability to enter and live in the U.S. or could have them facing charges for crimes they never committed.
Because immigrants today are encountering many obstacles when they attempt to enter the U.S. and even remain living here, it is important that anyone in New Jersey dealing with any type of immigration-related matter retain a Newark, NJ immigration attorney to help them. Many immigrants are being faced with unfair treatment and practices so it is best you protect yourself by hiring a reputable attorney.
If a loved one of yours has been arrested by ICE or you are struggling with an immigration matter, let a Newark immigration and deportation attorney step in and help.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is one of the best law firms in Newark, NJ that handles immigration matters and is more than qualified to assist you. To learn more about how this firm can help you, call them now at 973-453-2009 and schedule your initial consultation.
 
You can reach the Law Office of Eric M. Mark at:
201 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
973-453-2009

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *