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New Mexico News: ALBUQUERQUE, Tucson Immigration Attorney Indicted on Federal Mail Fraud and Forgery Charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Marivel Cantu-Madril, 40, of Oro Valley, Ariz., was arraigned today in federal court in Tucson, Ariz., on an indictment charging her with mail fraud and forging judicial signatures.  Cantu-Madril entered a not guilty plea during the arraignment hearing and was released on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

Cantu-Madril is an attorney admitted to the State Bar of Arizona who practiced immigration and criminal defense law in Tucson, Ariz., for several years. She currently is suspended from the practice of law.

The three-count indictment, which was filed on July 3, 2018, charges Cantu-Madril with one count of mail fraud and two counts of forgery of judicial signature, and with aiding and abetting the three offenses.

Count One of the indictment charges Cantu-Madril with mailing, or causing to be mailed, an “I-765, Application for Employment Authorization,” in which she allegedly included false information about a non-citizen client seeking government approval to work in the United States to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. As alleged in the indictment, Cantu-Madril intentionally entered false information into the application to improve the prospect of approval by immigration authorities by misrepresenting the date on which her client last entered the United States, and by falsely asserting that her client was legally residing in the United States.

Counts Two and Three of the indictment allege that Cantu-Madril forged the signature of a clerk of court for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As alleged in the indictment, Cantu-Madril falsely authenticated two payment receipts from the Ninth Circuit by forging the clerk’s signature on the documents.

If convicted, Cantu-Madril faces maximum statutory penalty of twenty years of imprisonment on mail fraud offense and five years of imprisonment on the forgery offenses.

Charges in indictments are merely accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.

The investigation of the case, which is ongoing, is being handled by the Tucson field office of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J. Sullivan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico is prosecuting the case. Individuals who may have information that is pertinent to the investigation are asked to contact HSI at 866-347-2423.

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SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Friday, July 13, 2018.