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Document and Benefit Fraud
06/11/2010

2 Fresno-area residents indicted for producing fraudulent identity documents

FRESNO, Calif. - Two Fresno-area residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for producing and selling counterfeit immigration and identity documents as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Maria Ines Rangel-Lemus, 55, of Strathmore, Calif., and Cesar Perez Sanchez, 38, of Earlimart, Calif., are named in a multiple count indictment charging them with conspiracy, possession, transfer, production, and sale of fraudulent United States immigration and Social Security identification documents. The two, who face a maximum sentence of up to15 years in prison, are scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge June 17.

The indictment alleges that, between January 13 and June 2, Rangel-Lemus and Sanchez produced and sold fraudulent Social Security cards and "green cards." According to the court documents, prospective purchasers would meet Rangel-Lemus at a designated location in Tulare County, providing pictures and biographical details. Rangel-Lemus would contact Sanchez to pick up the pictures and information. Sanchez would then produce the fraudulent documents at his residence and return them to Rangel-Lemus, who would provide them to the purchasers. ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at Rangel-Lemus' and Sanchez's residences June 2 where they discovered fraudulent documents along with document-making supplies and equipment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Susan Phan and Ian Garriques representing the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.