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Document and Benefit Fraud
12/09/2016

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Texas scam artist indicted in Seattle for impersonating immigration officers

Allegedly collected thousands of dollars from immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship status

SEATTLE – A Texas man who claimed he could provide immigrants with legal status for a fee was indicted Wednesday on six counts of wire fraud and two counts of impersonating a federal officer or employee, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Alejandro Gurany, 49, of El Paso, Texas, who traveled to SeaTac and met with immigrants at an airport hotel between December 2011 and March 2015, according to court documents. At least 19 victims in Washington and Ohio have been interviewed by law enforcement, some who said they paid Gurany thousands of dollars believing he would provide them legal status in the U.S.

“While law enforcement has identified more than a dozen victims in this case, there may be more out there,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I encourage anyone who has information about this case, and anyone who may have been victimized by this scam to contact investigators.” 

“This defendant preyed on vulnerable victims who were fearful of being deported by falsely representing himself to be in a position to assist them. His actions misrepresented the agency's purpose and processes while creating a false sense of fear in those wishing to seek help from law enforcement,” said Shawn Fallah, OPR resident agent in charge of Seattle. “We remain committed to safeguarding the public from these imposters. ICE encourages community members to report this type of fraud to help us protect and prevent future victims.”

Gurany was summoned to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle Jan. 5.

Authorities continue to seek information from other potential victims. Tips related to such crimes can be made by email or by calling 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Manheim. The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 12/09/2016