Unreasonable Requests

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If an immigrant follows the rules and regulations established by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), naturalization is achievable, even if it takes a long time. (Many immigrants seek legal counsel for the complicated process in hopes of improving their chances for approval.) An article posted on ArkansasOnline.com tells about a Honduran woman who posed as a legal professional and used her fake position to make unreasonable requests of her clientele seeking U.S. Citizenship.

The article follows the Little Rock resident’s scheme to defraud undocumented immigrants over a period of seven years. The woman, who misrepresented herself as an employee of an immigration attorney, told her clients that she could prepare legitimate immigration documents for a price. (Fraudsters always make their victims pay one way or another.)

According to the story, the woman charged $10,000 for a ”state pardon fee” and another $10,000 for an ”IRS fine.” (If the illegal immigrants didn’t pay the bogus fines, they were threatened with arrest, deportation and the loss of custody of their children.) During a raid of her home, investigators found documents that were similar to the fake Social Security Administration and Immigration documents that she also had provided to her victims.

The 32-year-old woman pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. She was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $541,520 in restitution for her illegal acts.

U.S. Citizenship is like the Holy Grail to many immigrants who are seeking a better life that comes with many rights and benefits. This woman’s selfish actions undoubtedly caused many immigrants to miss out on the privilege of becoming an American citizen. (Ironically, because of her unreasonable requests this criminal is now facing reasonable punishment.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Sentenced in LR Immigration Fraud,” written by Danielle Kloap and posted on ArkansasOnline.com on April 3, 2015.

A Honduran woman living in Little Rock was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for defrauding illegal immigrants by promising services to obtain legal resident status, U.S. attorney Conner Eldridge announced.

Wendy Espinoza, 32, was sentenced to prison on one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud, and will serve those sentences concurrently, Eldridge said in a news release.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.