San Antonio immigrant scam leads to arrest

Six people have lost a combined $30,700 in a Texas immigration scam, that put one man behind bars, reports the San Antonio Express-News.

Jesus Lopez, 61, one of the accused man’s numerous aliases, was charged with theft and money laundering between $20,000 and $100,000 and held on $10,000 bail. The man sometimes known as Lopez allegedly took cash payments from six aspiring citizens who believed he could help them change their immigration status.

Lopez ran his scam by claiming he was a retired immigration agent. Victims were all asked to pay $7,000 cash and provide photos. No one ever received the documents they believed they paid for.

According to the office of the Attorney General of Texas, thousands of people living in the state have become victims of similar immigration scams, as hopeful people fork over their life savings to fraudulent public service workers and other criminals. In 2001, it became illegal in Texas for notaries public to prepare immigration documents or to provide immigration counseling of any kind, except those who are licensed attorneys.