Rosemary Yu, Co-Director of the New York County DA’s Immigrant Affairs Office (and AABANY member), shares the following press release about the ongoing efforts of her office to stop immigration fraud which has victimized our immigrant communities:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF GARAGE ATTENDANT FOR DEFRAUDING IMMIGRANT CO-WORKERS
Case Referred by Caller to DA’s Immigrant Affairs Program Hotline: 212-335-3600
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced today the indictment of JOSE DELVALLE, 32, for stealing approximately $6,000 from immigrants by promising to obtain labor certifications and green cards for them, and falsely claiming that he had a contact who worked for immigration authorities capable of helping them. The defendant is charged in New York State Supreme Court with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. The District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into the defendant’s criminal activity when the victims contacted the Office’s Immigrant Affairs Program.
“More than half of the 2,400 calls to my Office’s Immigrant Affairs Program Hotline over the years relate to scams involving individuals claiming to offer legitimate immigration services, when, in fact, they do not,” said District Attorney Vance. “The circumstances of each crime vary – sometimes, the defendants represent themselves to be attorneys. Other times, the defendants target members of their own immigrant community. However, these crimes all share one thing: a willingness on the part of the defendants to take advantage of people who are new to this country, not fluent in the language, and struggling to navigate a complex legal and social services system. I encourage anyone who feels he or she may be the victim of an immigration scam to call my Office’s Immigrant Affairs Program Hotline at 212-335-3600, regardless of immigration status.”
According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, the defendant worked with the victims – two Ecuadorean immigrants – at a parking garage in Northern Manhattan. Between October and November 2010, DELVALLE is accused of befriending the two victims, telling them that he had a contact who worked in what he termed “immigration,” and promising to get them their labor certifications and green cards if they paid him $6,000 apiece: $3,000 up front, with the remainder to be paid after they received the documents. The defendant allegedly told his victims that it could take them anywhere from six months to one year for the cards to arrive. When they did not receive them, they contacted the defendant, who soon stopped taking their calls. It was at that point that the victims reported the scheme to the District Attorney’s Office.
DELVALLE is not an authorized provider of immigration services, and no immigration filings were ever submitted on behalf of the two victims.
Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Gross of the Special Prosecutions Bureau is handling the prosecution of this case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Rosemary Yu and Mayerling Rivera, Co-Directors of the Immigrant Affairs Program, and Thomas Wornom, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau.
District Attorney Vance thanked the Office of Fraud Detection & National Security, within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, New York District, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, within the United States Department of Justice, for their assistance in this investigation.
JOSE DELVALLE, D.O.B. 6/12/80
- Criminal Possession of a Stolen Property in the Third, a class D felony, one count
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, two counts