Top ICE lawyer charged with stealing immigrants' identities

Susan McFarland

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorney has resigned and faces federal charges he stole immigrants' identities and used the information to get credit cards.

Raphael Sanchez, ICE's chief counsel in Seattle, Wash., was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


Along with stealing identities, he is accused of defrauding creditors in the scam, which allegedly took place for four years -- from roughly October 2013 to October 2017.

A court document shows Sanchez is accused of stealing the identities of seven people involved in immigration proceedings and then pilfering from American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank, Discover and JPMorgan Chase.

"Sanchez devised and intended to devise a scheme .... Using the personally identifying information of seven aliens in various stages of immigration proceedings with the United States Immigrant and Customs Enforcement to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses," according to the court document.

A Justice Department spokesperson said Sanchez resigned Monday, the day he was charged.

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