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ICE seeks victims of 3-time convicted criminal who posed as immigration attorney, defrauded legal and illegal aliens

19 Nov

EL PASO, Texas — Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are seeking possible additional fraud victims of three-time convicted criminal who pleaded guilty Nov. 8 to defrauding numerous legal and illegal aliens.

Federico Garcia Jr., 44, who had worked for the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at the ports of entry in the 1990s, faces up to 20 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to defrauding numerous legal and illegal aliens.

Garcia admitted that from November 2015 to May 2018, he fraudulently presented himself as an immigration attorney and charged various fees to unwitting victims who sought assistance applying for U.S. immigration benefits. Garcia, who is not a licensed attorney, carried out his scheme under the business names “Justice International” and “High End Immigrant Resource Center.”

Garcia also solicited victims to invest in fraudulent business ventures that would allegedly provide large returns.

In 1998, Garcia was convicted for bribery of a public official and sentenced to nine years in prison. In 2014, he was sentenced to 33 months in prison for participating in a fraudulent document scheme.

Garcia remains in federal custody and is set to be sentenced in El Paso Jan. 17 following his latest conviction.

HSI El Paso’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Aguayo, Debra Kanof and Stephen Garcia, Western District of Texas, are prosecuting this case.