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Top ICE Lawyer Admits Stealing Immigrants' IDs for Cash

© AFP 2022 / Jose CABEZASAn Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer guards a group of 116 Salvadorean immigrants that wait to be deported,at Willacy Detention facility in Raymondville, Texas on December 18, 2008
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer guards a group of 116 Salvadorean immigrants that wait to be deported,at Willacy Detention facility in Raymondville, Texas on December 18, 2008 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Raphael Sanchez, ex-chief counsel of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), admitted to charges of wire fraud and identity theft of US residents, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

"Former Chief Counsel Raphael A. Sanchez of ICE Office of Principal Legal Adviser pleaded guilty today for a wire fraud and aggravated identity theft scheme involving the identities of numerous aliens," the release said on Thursday.

The Justice Department explained that Sanchez, who was responsible for immigration removals in four US states, became intentionally involved in a scheme concerning seven persons in different stages of deportation procedures.

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Sanchez obtained personal information of the aliens and applied for credit cards and personal loans under the victims' names, made money transfers and bought goods with these cards totaling more than $190,000, the Justice Department said.

Moreover, Sanchez admitted to filing tax returns from 2014 to 2016 in which he claimed that three of the aliens were relative dependents, the Justice Department added.

Sentencing in the case will be issued on May 11, the release noted.

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