Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: Social Security Card

New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Producing Green Cards and Government Documents

An Ocean Township, N.J., man pleaded guilty Monday, January 14, 2013, to the manufacture and sale of fraudulent government documents. If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison. The guilty plea is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean Township Police Department.

Lucio Medina-Sanchez, 37, of Ocean Township, pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing false government identification and two counts of selling false government identification.

According to court documents, HSI special agents and local law enforcement executed a search warrant at Medina-Sanchez’s residence Feb. 2, 2012. The search resulted in the seizure of computers, laminates and other material used to create the false documents.

The investigation revealed Medina-Sanchez was manufacturing false government identification cards including Social Security cards and U.S. permanent resident cards – commonly known as green cards – inside his township apartment.

Medina-Sanchez required his customers to provide him with a passport-sized photo and a name and birth date of their choosing. The payment was determined by the type of document he manufactured.

Sentencing is scheduled in March 2013.

ICE and PRPD Target Operation Arrests 13 for Identity Theft and Document Fraud in Puerto Rico

Thirteen individuals indicted for document fraud and identity theft related charges were arrested Friday, November 16, 2012, in the municipalities of Bayamon, San Juan, and Carolina, Puerto Rico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, worked jointly with the Internal Revenue Service, Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and San Juan Police Department (SJPD) officers in an operation dubbed Game Over.

“Document and identity fraud pose a severe threat to national security and public safety because they create a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in theUnited States,” said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. “HSI has partnered with federal, state and local counterparts to create the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, a series of multi-agency teams developed to target criminal organizations and beneficiaries behind these fraudulent schemes.”

The case involves a scheme to defraud the United States by fraudulently obtaining and converting to cash U.S. Treasury checks issued in connection with fraudulent tax returns filed with the agency. As part of the scheme, tax returns were filed using the personal identifying information of individuals, when in reality, said individuals never filed such tax returns with the IRS. The investigation has revealed that the fraudulent tax returns were filed without the consent of the taxpayers who appear in the returns.

The investigation also uncovered a scheme used by some of the defendants to obtain legitimate, counterfeit or altered Puerto Rico birth certificates, Social Security cards and driver’s licenses to facilitate the movement of illegal aliens already in Puerto Rico to the continental United States.

Those arrested are:

  • Alexander Compres-Rubio
  • Raquel Custodio
  • Jose M. Vega-Rivera
  • Fernando Rosa
  • Nidia Muñoz
  • Eduvigis Rodriguez
  • Salustiano Olivo
  • Damaris Hernandez
  • Jose Javier Serrano
  • Wander Carrasco
  • Mercedes de la Cruz
  • Norwin Santana
  • Julio Peralta

ICE encourages the public to report document and benefit fraud and related information by calling 1-866-DHS-2ICE.

Criminal Alien Pleads Guilty to Immigration Fraud, Identity Theft of U.S. Citizen

A previously deported criminal alien pleaded guilty Thursday, September 6, 2012, in federal court to illegally voting in the 2008 presidential election using the name of a U.S. citizen whose identity he assumed more than two decades ago.

Ricardo Lopez-Munguia, 45, of Escondido, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of voter fraud, making a false claim to U.S. citizenship and illegal reentry after deportation. The charges are the result of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Lopez faces a maximum penalty of 28 years in prison when he is sentenced November 19. Upon completion of his sentence, Lopez will be deported to Mexico.

As part of his guilty plea, Lopez admitted he was convicted of two drug trafficking offenses involving heroin in 1986. In 1987, an immigration judge ordered Lopez deported as an aggravated felon. Lopez admitted he subsequently assumed the identity of a U.S. citizen, which he used to illegally reenter the United States, obtain a Social Security card and a U.S. passport, and to vote.

“Our unique, broad authorities serve to protect the public from widespread exploitation by fraudsters who never seem to know when to quit,” said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “Whether we’re protecting the integrity of the legal immigration system, rooting out voter fraud or uncovering identity theft, HSI is committed to aggressively investigating fraud that undermines our nation’s bedrock institutions.”

As part of a collaborative operation in July, officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection took Lopez into custody at the San Ysidro port of entry.

California Brothers Indicted for Producing Fraudulent Immigration Documents

Two Shasta County brothers were indicted Thursday, August 9, 2012, by a federal grand jury on charges of producing and selling false identification and immigration documents following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Sergio Alonso Madrigal-Felix, 32, of Redding, Calif., and Mario Alfonso Madrigal-Felix, 36, of Anderson, Calif., are also accused of possessing document making equipment and materials. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hales and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele M. Beckwith.

According to court documents, the brothers sold counterfeit document sets for $150 each that included an alien registration card or “green card” and a Social Security card with a false number. An undercover HSI special agent purchased three sets on March 22 for three fictitious people. Four more sets were purchased from the defendants on two other occasions. A search warrant was issued and agents seized document-making equipment, including a laptop, printer and laminator.

“Targeting schemes like this that enable individuals who aren’t in this country lawfully to obtain legitimate identity documents is a top enforcement priority for ICE HSI,” said Jason Graham, resident agent in charge for HSI Redding. “Those who engage in this type of fraud are putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk. Schemes like this could potentially be exploited by dangerous criminals and others seeking to obscure their identities and mask their motives.”

The defendants have been in custody since their arrest and initial court appearance July 27. They are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan Aug. 10. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

Three Men Arrested for Immigration Document Fraud

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents along with the Somerset County Prosecutors Office (SCPO) and Raritan Borough Police Department arrested three men Monday, July 30, 2012, for manufacturing and possessing fraudulent government documents.

In February, HSI special agents informed SCPO detectives that Michael Arias, 31, of Raritan, N.J., was allegedly manufacturing fraudulent government documents.

In April, HSI special agents, along with SCPO detectives, conducted an undercover operation at Arias’ residence for the purpose of purchasing fraudulent U.S. government documents. A subsequent meeting occurred in July. During the undercover meeting, a fraudulent U.S. Permanent Resident Card, a fraudulent U.S. Social Security card and a fraudulent Department of Homeland Security Employment Authorization card were purchased from Arias.

On July 30, special agents and officers executed a search warrant at Arias’ residence. The search resulted in the seizure of a computer, printer, laminator, numerous government identification cards and other items that are utilized in the manufacturing of fraudulent government documents. During the execution of the search warrant, Michael Delgado Sibaja, 25, of Raritan, N.J., and Fernando Valencia Alvarado, 42, of Somerville, N.J., were present and found to be in possession of fraudulent government documents.

Arias was arrested and charged with manufacturing false government documents, trafficking in personal identification information, and forgery. Sibaja and Alvarado were both arrested and charged with possession of fraudulent government documents.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Two Plead Guilty for Identity Fraud Scheme

Two individuals pleaded guilty and four others were sentenced in Newark federal court in connection with their roles in a large-scale identity theft scheme.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents along with agents of the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to court documents, Sang-Hyun Park, aka “Jimmy,” was the leader of a criminal enterprise that operated in Bergen County, N.J., and elsewhere, that engaged in identity theft and financial fraud. Park pleaded guilty Jan. 9, 2012, and is awaiting sentencing. Park and his co-conspirators obtained Social Security cards beginning with “586.” These Social Security cards were issued by the United States to individuals, usually from China, who were employed in American territories. The enterprise sold these Social Security cards, together with genuinely issued or counterfeit driver’s licenses, to its customers for a fee. Members of the enterprise engaged in the fraudulent “build-up” of credit scores associated with the Chinese identities. They did so by adding the Chinese identity as an authorized user to the credit card accounts of various co-conspirators who received a fee for this service – members of the enterprise’s credit build-up teams. By attaching the Chinese identities to these existing credit card accounts, the teams increased the credit scores associated with the Chinese identities to between 700 and 800. After building the credit associated with these identities, Park and his co-conspirators directed, coached and assisted his customers to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards. Park and his co-conspirators then used these accounts and credit cards to commit fraud. In particular, Park relied on several collusive merchants who possessed credit card processing, or swipe, machines. For a fee, known as a “kkang fee,” these collusive merchants charged the fraudulently obtained credit cards, although no transaction took place. After receiving the money into their merchant accounts from the credit cards related to these fraudulent transactions, the collusive merchants gave the money to Park and his co-conspirators, minus their “kkang fee.”

Hyo-II Song, aka “Daniel”, 49, of Fort Lee, N.J., was sentenced Friday, July 27, 2012, to 65 months in prison, ordered to pay $1.08 million in restitution and sentenced to three years supervised release. Song pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden Feb. 10, 2012, to a three-count Information that charged him with unlawfully producing identification documents, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Hyun-Yop Sung, aka “James”, 43, of Carlstadt, N.J., was sentenced by Judge Hayden to 45 months in prison, ordered to pay $145,576.27 in restitution and sentenced to three years supervised release.

Sung pleaded guilty Jan. 25, 2012, to a two-count Information that charged him with conspiracy to unlawfully produce an identification document and commit credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Young-Hee Ju, aka “Stephanie,” 43, of Closter, N.J., pleaded guilty before Judge Hayden to an Information charging her with conspiracy to unlawfully produce identification documents and counterfeit identification documents, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. Ju faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison on count one and a two-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment on count two. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2012.

Alex S. Lee, 44, of Palisades Park, N.J., was sentenced by Judge Hayden to six months home confinement, three years probation and ordered to pay $118,891 in restitution. Lee pleaded guilty Feb. 6, 2012, to an Information charging him with conspiracy to unlawfully produce an identification document and false identification document, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Yong Kim Lee, 57, of Linden, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information that charged her with conspiracy to unlawfully produce identification documents and counterfeit identification documents, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. Lee faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2012.

Kang-Hyok Choi, of Valley Stream, N.Y., was sentenced by Judge Hayden to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to an Indictment charging him with credit card fraud. Choi is currently serving a 75-year sentence in New Jersey related to a triple homicide, and his federal time was ordered to run concurrent with his state time.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.