The Department of Justice announced a 25-count indictment against a man who portrayed himself as an immigration attorney, pastor, accountant, immigration expert, former immigration official, and former federal law enforcement officer to illegal aliens. As a result, he filed more than 215 fraudulent asylum applications.
According to US Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez, Elvis Harold Reyes, 56, is facing 8 counts of mail fraud, 8 counts of making false statements in immigration documents, and 9 counts of aggravated identity theft.
If he is convicted, Elvis may not only be singing “Jailhouse Rock,” but he may be put behind bars for a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each count of mail fraud, up to 15 years’ imprisonment for each false statement count, and a mandatory, consecutive term of two years’ imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft counts.
The DOJ issued a press release:
According to the indictment, Reyes, who owned and operated EHR Ministries Inc., portrayed himself as an immigration attorney, pastor, accountant, immigration expert, former immigration official, and former federal law enforcement officer. Reyes is not and has never been a licensed attorney. Reyes targeted undocumented immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries who were seeking Florida driver licenses and work authorization. He gave false, inaccurate, and incomplete legal and immigration advice to victims in order to induce them to retain his services and those of EHR Ministries.
Victims retained and paid Reyes to represent them in immigration-related matters before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other agencies. Reyes allegedly filed fraudulent immigration applications in the victims’ names, seeking asylum relief and withholding-of-removal protections provided for under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. In doing so, Reyes falsified answers to questions in the asylum applications—fabricating stories about threats, persecution, and the applicants’ fear of returning to their native countries. Reyes did not inform the victims of the answers that he had provided on their behalf. He also did not inform the victims about the legal, administrative, and other immigration-related consequences that might follow from filing for asylum relief or for Convention Against Torture protection.
Reyes is believed to have filed more than 215 fraudulent applications, with intended losses to victims exceeding $1 million. Any person who was, or knows of someone who may have been, a possible victim is urged to contact the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or http://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.
So, will any of those illegal aliens who contact DHS or any of those illegal aliens who have been taken advantage of by Reyes be facing any charges under the law?
This obviously was not pointed out at all in this matter.
Almost all asylum claims are bogus, as the Trump administration showed when it promulgated the Migrant Protection Protocols that require illegal aliens to remain in Mexico while awaiting a decision on those claims.
About “9 out of 10 asylum claims from Northern Triangle countries are ultimately found non-meritorious by federal immigration judges,” the administration fact sheet says. “Because of the court backlog and the impact of outdated laws and misguided court decisions, many of these individuals have disappeared into the country before a judge denies their claim and simply become fugitives.”
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the protocols, also known as Remain in Mexico, will remain in force as the lawsuit that seeks to block them winds through lower federal courts.
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