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ICE Attorney Charged with Stealing Immigrants’ Identities

The identities of seven immigrants were stolen in an attempt to defraud credit card companies.

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An attorney for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been charged with stealing the identities of seven immigrants, who were in various stages of court proceedings with ICE, to obtain money and property.

Raphael A. Sanchez, the agency’s chief counsel in Seattle, was charged on Monday with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to a court document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Monday.

According to the documents, the allegations, which are both felonies, took place over a span of four years, from October, 2013, to about October 25, 2017.

Sanchez had attempted to use the personal information of seven immigrants to defraud financial institutions, including American Express Company, Bank of America Corporation, Capital One Financial Corporation, Citibank, Discover Financial Services,  and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

On April 18, 2016, Sanchez used his official ICE email address to send himself information and documents to his personal Yahoo email address. The documents forwarded included a copy of an energy bill, Chinese passport, and U.S. permanent resident card, as well as the name, Social Security number, and birth date who was identified in the court documents as R.H.

Sanchez resigned from the agency on Monday, and he will appear in court on Thursday for a plea hearing.

Arianna is a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work. You can reach her at arianna@yogawithmimosas.com.

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