This week, it was announced that the former chief counsel of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Principal Legal Advisor had been sentenced to prison for a wire fraud and aggravated identity theft scheme involving the identities of many aliens. Raphael A. Sanchez was sentenced to 48 months in prison. 44-year-old Sanchez of Seattle, Washington pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of wire fraud on February 24.
The defendant has also been ordered to pay $190,345.62 in restitution. Sanchez was responsible for immigration removal proceedings in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. He admitted that he intentionally devised a scheme to defraud aliens in various stages of the removal proceedings with ICE. He used personally identifiable information of his victims to open lines of credit and personal loans in their name, alter their credit bureau filers, transfer money to himself, and purchase goods using credit cards issued in the victims’ names.
The defendant admitted to using ICE’s official computer data and accessing hard-copy files to obtain the personally identifiable information. Then, he used his worker computer to forge identification documents. Sanchez ultimately used the forged documents to open credit card and bank accounts. Sanchez also listed his residence as the aliens’ home address on the paperwork. In some cases, the defendant created public utility account statements in their names to provide the necessary proof of residence.
Again, Raphael A. Sanchez has been sentenced to 48 months in prison. Further details have been made available here.