Raphael Sanchez, a former top attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been sentenced to four years in prison. It was discovered that Sanchez was stealing the identifications of immigrants being held for deportation and then using their information to go on a $190,000 shopping spree.
Sanchez pled guilty to his crimes in February. The former ICE attorney was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
During the court case, prosecutors noted that the 15-year veteran of ICE was making a comfortable six-figure salary but chose to use ICE’s databases “to obtain the personal information of the seven people, including their social security numbers, birth dates, phone numbers and addresses,” according to DailyKos.
After stealing personal identification numbers, Sanchez created fake documents and opened various credit lines that allowed him to live an expensive lifestyle.
All victims involved in the scam were at various stages of ICE’s removal proceedings, according to the statement released by the agency.
When creating the fake documents, Sanchez used his own photo for male identifies and affixed a picture of a woman who had been murdered for his female victims.
“His fraud attempts allegedly involved American Express, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank and Discover Financial Services,” prosecutors noted.
The DailyKos notes that Sanchez lied to the IRS for three years, “claiming a few aliens as dependent family members to receive extra tax deductions.”
Sanchez will now spend up to four years and jail and must pay back $190,000 in restitution to the creditors he defrauded.
“Raphael Sanchez was entrusted with overseeing the honest enforcement of our country’s immigration laws,” DOJ’s John Cronan said. He also noted that the former ICE attorney “abused that trust, and capitalized on his position at ICE to exploit his victims and line his own pockets.”