Ex-ICE attorney faces prison time for stealing immigrants’ identities:

Ex-ICE attorney faces prison time for stealing immigrants’ identities:

The former chief attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Seattle is facing prison time for stealing the identities of immigrants to defraud banks and credit card companies.

Raphael Sanchez will be sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, The Seattle Times reported.

Sanchez was legal counsel for ICE agents and oversaw the deportation and asylum hearings for immigrants in four states, it added.

“But Sanchez betrayed that trust,” Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers wrote to U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik. “Over a period of years, he exploited numerous victim aliens, defrauded major financial institutions, and monetized his position of public trust.”

He used the identities of at least seven “particularly vulnerable” immigrants facing deportation, including the photo of a murdered woman, to forge IDs, according to prosecutors.

Sanchez stole more than $190,000 from at least six different banks and financial institutions using the stolen identifies, they added.

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys have recommended a four-year prison sentence for Sanchez.

The Times noted, however, that Lasnik is not bound by that recommendation.

The wire-fraud charge alone charges a maximum prison term of up to 30 years and a fine up to $1 million, the Times reported.

Aggravated identify theft, meanwhile, carries a mandatory two-year sentence.

Sanchez’s defense attorney wrote in a sentencing memorandum that he survived a terrifying childhood after moving to New Jersey from Puerto Rico as a toddler and growing up in a violent home with an alcoholic father.

“Unfortunately,” Cassandra Stamm wrote, Sanchez “never acquired the tools necessary to surmount the crippling psychological deficits” his childhood caused.



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