Justice Department Acquires Denaturalization Of Defendant Guilty Of Impersonating An Immigration Officer

On August 21, 2017, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner of the Central District of California entered an order to revoke the naturalized United States citizenship of an individual impersonating an immigration officer. The defendant has been restrained and enjoined from claiming any rights, privileges or advantages of having a United States citizenship. She has also been ordered to surrender her Certificate of Naturalization and other U.S. citizenship documents to federal authorities.

In September of 2012, 53-year-old Araceli Martinez aka Maria Araceli Ramos de Martinez, who is a native of Mexico, pleaded guilty to violating California Penal Code 532(a). Between June of 2011 and March of 2012, Martinez was involved in a scheme in which she pretended to be a United States immigration officer. Martinez claimed she could help undocumented immigrants acquire legal status. In return, she defrauded her victims of thousands of dollars without submitting any paperwork on the victim’s behalf.

When placed under oath for her naturalization interview, Martinez swore that she had never committed a crime or offense for which she had not been arrested. Approximately two months later, Martinez was arrested by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for the scheme. During the course of the scheme, Martinez defrauded nine aliens of thousands of dollars. Martinez received between $2,000 and $5,000 from each undocumented immigrant victim.

The Department of Justice filed a complaint to start denaturalization proceedings in April of 2017. When doing so, they discovered that Martinez was incarcerated in the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah. She was serving a two-year sentence for a felony grand theft conviction in December 2015.