The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that a 36-year-old woman from San Jose was arrested on suspicion of immigration fraud.
Jasmine E. Sanchez turned herself in on Saturday to the sheriff's office and is awaiting a future court date, on suspicion of crimes that include grand theft, theft by false pretenses and violations of the Immigration Consultant Act.
A Santa Clara County resident who claimed they had been defrauded by an immigration consultant in San Jose contacted the sheriff's office Notario Fraud Unit detectives in July. The unit investigates allegations of immigration service provider fraud against the immigrant community of Santa Clara County.
After launching an investigation, detectives learned that a couple had paid Sanchez approximately $5,000 to complete a citizenship and visa application, but over the course of four years the application was not submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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Detectives confirmed in their investigation that Sanchez had kept the victims' money and did not provide any refund to them.
The victims told detectives that due to their documents not being submitted they were unable to leave the country to visit dying relatives.
Detectives were also contacted by another client of Sanchez who claimed they paid her approximately $1,000 for a Deferred action for Childhood Arrivals, also knowns as Dream Act application.
Detectives confirmed that Sanchez had not submitted the application and no compensation was given to the victim.
The victim lost a scholarship and an opportunity to attend a local trade school because the documents had not been submitted, the sheriff's office said.
After interviewing Sanchez at her office, detectives determined that immigration paperwork for the victims had not been submitted and there was no accounting for the clients' money transactions.
Authorities said that Sanchez told clients and sheriff's that she was a California Secretary of State bonded Immigration Consultant. State records, however, indicated that Sanchez was not authorized to preform immigration services by the Secretary of State or the State of California, the sheriff's office said. Documentation showed that the State of California had issued a cease- and-desist letter to Sanchez in 2018.
The Sheriff's Office's Notario Fraud Unit is asking anyone who has been a victim of immigration service provider fraud or have been a victim Sanchez to contact Sheriff's Detectives at (408) 808-4599.