(STL.News) – Erika Paola Intriago (44, Tampa) today pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a fraud scheme involving her posing as an immigration attorney to victims in Chicago and Tampa. Intriago faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Intriago portrayed herself as an immigration attorney and personal representative offering immigration-related services. She advertised her services on social media, targeting immigrants and immigrant families from Spanish-speaking countries. In fact, Intriago was not a licensed attorney in any state.
Victims retained and paid Intriago to represent them in immigration-related matters before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other agencies. To prove that she was acting on the victims’ behalf, Intriago sent fraudulent letters, emails, receipts, documents, and communications to her victims, fraudulently representing that these records were legitimate communications sent from agencies of the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS. In actuality, Intriago had either never filed the necessary immigration paperwork, had abandoned the immigration process, or the applications had already been denied without Intriago informing the victims. Intriago also threatened and intimidated victims who complained about her conduct by telling them that she would report their immigration status to U.S. immigration authorities, which Intriago claimed would result in the victims being deported.
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 www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray.