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Document and Benefit Fraud

Miami woman convicted of conspiracy to commit immigration and wire fraud

MIAMI - A 60-year-old woman charged with conspiracy to commit immigration and wire fraud was found guilty in federal court earlier this week for her participation in an immigration scheme that netted over $425,000 and defrauded hundreds of illegal aliens, following a joint Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Ada Calveiro, of Miami, was found guilty by a jury on all counts of the indictment that charged her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements in immigration papers, and with seven counts of wire fraud. Her sentencing is scheduled before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck on Sept. 8, 2009.

According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants were part of a scheme to defraud aliens by soliciting payments from them and falsely promising to assist them with immigration matters. More specifically, from approximately February 2003 through November 2004, Calveiro, and previously convicted co-defendants, Nestor Romero, 56, and Raphael Diaz De La Rocha, 52, completed and submitted fraudulent applications for work authorizations on behalf of illegal aliens, collecting as much as $7,500 from each defrauded alien.

The scheme transpired in Florida and New York while the three defendants resided Miami-Dade County. As part of the scheme, Nestor Romero represented himself to be an immigration attorney and/or an employee with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who could provide services to illegal aliens.

After receiving payments for his alleged services, Romero prepared false immigration documents using personal information belonging to numerous identity theft victims, including alien registration numbers belonging to individuals who had not requested such applications. However, none of the submitted applications were ever approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Through this scheme, the defendants collected more than $426,700 from aliens in connection with their immigration business. The five year investigation within the Department of Homeland Security was initiated after receiving reports from multiple victims.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly S. Karase and Susan R. Osborne.