Woman indicted for posing as an immigration attorney in Tampa, Chicago
by Foster LLP, on News
TAMPA, Fla. – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa is looking for additional potential victims of a Tampa woman indicted Tuesday on four counts of wire fraud and three counts of wrongfully using government seals in connection with a scheme in which she fraudulently represented herself as an immigration attorney to take money from victims for services she never provided in the Tampa and Chicago areas. This case was investigated by HSI and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
According to the indictment, Erika Paola Intriago, 44, of Tampa, who is not a licensed attorney, fraudulently portrayed herself as an immigration attorney offering immigration-related services on social media targeting persons from Spanish-speaking countries seeking immigration-related services.
Victims retained and paid Intriago to represent them in immigration-related matters before USCIS and other agencies. Intriago is accused of then creating fraudulent letters, emails, receipts, documents, and communications to send her victims to falsely portray the records as legitimate communications with U.S. government agencies when in fact she never filed or completed the necessary immigration paperwork for which she was paid.
Intriago is also accused of threatening and intimidating victims who complained about her conduct by telling them that she would report their immigration status to U.S. immigration authorities, which Intriago claimed would result in the victims being deported.
If convicted, Intriago faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud and up to five years in federal prison for each count of wrongfully using government seals.
Any person who was, or knows of someone who may have been, a possible victim is urged to contact the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray, with United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez Middle District Florida office.