Paul Stein, 58, is accused of trying to sell fake green cards to immigrants between October 2011 and July 2014.
He is accused of posing as an FBI agent while Francisco Soares, 44, of Foxborough is accused of posing as a federal immigration official.
The two men were charged yesterday in Boston with conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer and falsely impersonating a federal agent. They face up to 5 years in federal prison, if convicted.
According to the indictment, from October 2011 until July 2014, Soares posed as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent and Stein posed as a Federal Bureau of Investigation employee.
The men told persons who were present in the United States illegally that they could fix their immigration problems, remove any impediments including evidence of prior immigration arrests, and get them lawful permanent resident status–known as a “green card” – in exchange for as much as $10,500.
Stein allegedly fingerprinted the victims, for a fee of $50-$250, ostensibly to facilitate the process of “cleaning” the aliens’ records. The aliens were charged various amounts in incremental payments and the process often extended over a period of months or even years.
The charging statutes provide a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.
The Massachusetts State Police, Woburn, Foxborough, and Mashpee Police Departments, and Bristol County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Thomas E. Kanwit of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.