On Thursday, it was announced that the former Chief Counsel for ICE had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft involving the identities of numerous aliens. 44-year-old Raphael A. Sanchez of Seattle, Washington pleaded guilty. He is now scheduled to be sentenced on May 11, 2018. According to the plea agreement, the defendant had responsibility over immigration removal proceedings in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington from October 2013 through October 25, 2017.
During this time, the defendant devised a scheme to defraud seven aliens during various stages of the removal proceedings. Sanchez used the personal identifiable information of those aliens to open lines of credit and to take out personal loans in their names. He also manipulated their credit bureau files and transferred funds to and purchased goods for himself using credit cards issued in their names.
The defendant confessed to obtaining this information using ICE’s official computer database systems. Then, he forged identification documents on his work computer. The forged documents were used to open credit card and bank accounts in the names of the victims. Sanchez listed his home address as the victims’ residences and sometimes created public utility account statements in their names to prove residence.
In one case, Sanchez created a false earnings and leave statement in one of the victim’s names and registered a car in her name. The defendant admitted to charging more than $190,000 from the bogus accounts. He often purchased goods online in the victims’ names and shipped them to his home. From 2014 through 2016, the defendant claimed three aliens as relative dependents on his tax returns.
Again, Raphael A. Sanchez will be sentenced on May 11, 2018. Additional details have been made available here.