Three Miami residents were sentenced in federal court for defrauding illegal aliens out of almost a half million dollars. The three defendants were under indictment for stealing money paid by illegal aliens to assist them with their immigration matters. The acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida made the announcement with the assistance of federal agents. The Miami criminal attorneys representing the defendants did not make any comments following the federal sentencing hearing.
Rafael Diaz De La Rocha, Ada Calveiro and Nestor Romero were indicted and sentenced for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making false statements. Romero was also charged and sentenced for impersonating a federal officer. As a result of their guilty pleas to committing fraud against illegal aliens, Romero received a 110 month prison sentence, Calviero received a 40 month prison sentence and Diaz De La Rocha received a 20 month prison sentence. All defendants were sentenced within the guidelines established by the federal sentencing statutes.
From February 2003 through November 2004, the defendants conspired to defraud illegal aliens by charging them $7,500 a head to assist them with processing fraudulent applications which would enable them to obtain work authorizations. The Miami wire fraud case operated in the South Florida area and New York. Romero posed as an immigration attorney and an official from the Department of Homeland Security. Calveiro and De La Rocha assisted Romero in consummating the scheme to defraud.
After receiving the $7,500 payment, Romero prepared the fraudulent immigration applications using individual's information obtained as a result of identity theft, such as alien registration numbers. The defendants collected close to half a million dollars from unsuspecting illegal aliens during a five year period. The massive scheme to defraud was uncovered after several complaints were filed with federal authorities.
Acting U.S. Attorney, Jeffrey Sloman applauded the efforts of federal investigators who uncovered the scheme to defraud. The victims of identity theft and immigration fraud suffered irreparable harm by those who chose to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Sloman stated that the U.S. Attorneys office is committed to stop the growing number of Miami fraud cases, including, identity theft, credit card fraud, Medicare fraud and mortgage fraud.
Miami Group Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud Illegal Aliens in Florida and New York, Media Newswire, September 22, 2009.