Saturday, July 2, 2011

Six people bilked out of $30,700 in immigration scam (San Antonio Express-News)

Six people bilked out of $30,700 in immigration scam
By Jazmine Ulloa

Updated 09:37 p.m., Friday, July 1, 2011

A man scammed $30,700 in cash payments from six people by claiming he could help them fix their immigration status, an arrest warrant affidavit states.

The man, 61, uses several alias but was charged under the alias Jesus Lopez with theft and money laundering, $20,000 to $100,000, authorities said. He was held in Bexar County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Investigators said they began investigating Lopez when a victim, Juan Nicolas Estrada, told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Antonio he had paid Lopez $7,000 to secure immigration documents in the belief that Lopez was a retired immigration agent.

Lopez asked all six to pay cash and provide photos — in one case, he took the Mexican birth certificates of a family desperate to leave Mexico; in another, he fingerprinted a man who sought a resident alien card and a social security number, the affidavit states. None received the promised documents.

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