June 27, 2007, - 3:16 pm

Document Fraud Ring Gearing Up for Immigration Amnesty Law; ICE Ignores

By Debbie Schlussel
A $300 million national document fraud ring that provides all types of fake ID to illegal aliens, criminals, terrorists, and sundry other malefactors, is gearing up to create fraudulent documents that meet requirements for a Z-Visa under the Immigration Amnesty Bill.
Members of the Mexican organization–based in and around Chicago’s Little Village Discount Mall Little Village–were indicted in United States v. Julio Leija-Sanchez, et al., unsealed in late April. The violent ring engages in various kinds of fraud and theft in addition to the fake documents and has operations in 28 states, including Michigan and Indiana. That’s in addition to murder of competitor document fraud rings.

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Members of the ring said they are preparing phony documents to establish residency in America as of January 2007, a requirement of the Z-Visa immigration amnesty under the bill currently under U.S. Senate consideration. This would likely lead to millions of fraudulent instant citizens under the new immigration bill. And don’t expect Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to investigate and enforce against this document fraud any better than they are currently doing, under the status quo. In fact many top ICE officials have allowed affiliates of the fraud ring to continue operation unfettered.
Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Julio Leija-Sanchez, the alleged Chicago cell leader, ICE has been unable to arrest Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez, a fugitive believed to be in Mexico. And top ICE officials, such as Michigan/Ohio Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz a/k/a “Abu Moskowitz,” have been aware of branches of the operation in their jurisdictions, but have done nothing to shut them down. Moskowitz was made aware a couple of years ago of the Michigan branch of the fraud ring–whose members would gladly sell fake ID to terrorists. But he has sent no agents to shut it down or even to investigate it. Your tax dollars (not) at work.
A woman involved in the ring admits that they are looking forward to the passage of the Immigration Amnesty Bill, as it provides a new market to provide fake documentation that an alien has resided in the U.S. as of January 2007.
An April Justice Department Press Release states:

According to the complaint affidavit, the fraudulent document organization originated in Mexico and is affiliated with a Mexican family named Castorena-Ibarra. ICE agents around the country believe that the organization produces false documents in several U.S. cities, including Denver, Los Angeles and Chicago. Information developed during the investigation indicates that the organization generates millions of dollars in illegal proceeds each year in Chicago alone. Julio Leija-Sanchez allegedly assumed control of the organization in Chicago after his brother, Manuel Leija- Sanchez, 40, who also is among the 22 charged, was deported in May 2006. Manuel Leija-Sanchez allegedly still exercises leadership of the organization from Mexico.
The organization allegedly recruits illegal aliens to come to Chicago and sell false documents on street corners in the Little Village neighborhood, where individuals solicit business for the organization overtly. These individuals sell all sorts of false identification documents – such as driver’s licenses purportedly issued by a variety of states, immigration documents such as Resident Alien Cards (Green Cards), and other purportedly government-issued documents. In just one location in the area of Albany and 26th Street alone, there are as many as 15 to 20 illegal aliens at any one time selling false documents, the charges allege. When these sellers locate a customer, they obtain a photograph and personal information, such as name and address that the customer wants on a particular card. Once these sellers have accumulated such information from enough customers, one of the sellers will send that information to a document production facility where the false documents are made.
Members of the organization are primarily of Mexican descent, but the ethnicity of their customers varies, including American, Polish, Indian, Algerian, Arab, Mexican, Nigerian, Canadian, Haitian, Pakistani, and Asian. Law enforcement is unaware of any occasion in which the organization declined selling fraudulent identification documents to a customer who had sufficient money to purchase the documents, the complaint states. . . .
The complaint alleges that the organization is also involved in the smuggling of illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Once these individuals arrive in Chicago, the organization provides them false identification, and they then pay off their debt to those who smuggled them here by working for the organization. . . .
Based on undercover purchases and information obtained from cooperating sources, law enforcement believes the organization sells as many as 50 to 100 sets of fraudulent identification documents each day, charging customers approximately $200 to $300 cash per “set.” A set consists of a Social Security card and either an Immigration “green card” or a State driver’s license. Each vendor in the organization is obligated to provide approximately $140 cash per set of documents to the organization and keeps the remaining profit, the charges allege. According to an intercepted call from Julio Leija-Sanchez in February, he said: “I’m telling you, we’ve been here for 20 years, and a couple of times they have caught people. Not us.”

If you expect this to change or get anything other than worse, with the immigration bill, then I have a bridge–no, make that some fake documents–to sell you.

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14 Responses

Debbie,
I really enjoy your site, but the fact that fraud rings will dummy up documents for aliens to show theyíve been present since January 1, 2007 is a well-known and anticipated problem. Whether or not this legislation will give us the funding to deal with the problem is the issue. I of course am not in favor of granting any lawful status, temporary or otherwise, to people whoíve broken the law (civil or criminal). The proposed legislation IS amnesty, it allows anyone whoís been here illegally since 1/1/2007 to eventually adjust. And I donít think these fines that are bandied about as much of a ìpenaltyî, and as for paying back taxes, they already owe them. The problem here is not what ICE can do but what problems will be caused by the legislation. Taking down the Castorena Family and its Chicago affiliates was a major document fraud success for us. The problem is that for every success, another organization or group springs up in its place. With a mission as broad as ours, thereís only so much ability to address every fraud ring, whether it is based on labor certs, marriages or phony documents. ICE is not the problem, not having enough agents is the problem. There is already legislation on the books to increase the number of ICE special agents by 4,000 to work strictly on immigration. Like everything else though, it isnít funded. We get 4,000 more agents to do immigration investigations, these document fraud organizations wonít exist or would be forced underground and sell at a prohibitive cost. Right now there are probably only 2,000 agents that work immigration cases, and likely only a quarter of them to work immigration fraud. We do what we do with what we have.
I donít believe anything is ignored in Detroit and Chicago, just that theyíve got to prioritize I suppose. Adding resources to do document fraud would have to come at the expense of another program. From which are would it come? Alien smuggling, criminal aliens, visa overstays from special interest countries, worksite, arms smuggling, drug smuggling, terrorist financing? Take from one area to plug up another and a leak springs out. Another group will be upset, another vulnerability possibly created.
Two words. More agents.

Staypositive on June 27, 2007 at 4:59 pm

This is the reason ICE should be abolished. Regroup the Agents into Customs and Immigration. Then each side can concentrate on their respective investigations and everybody will be happy.

kcrat on June 27, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Oh help me help me the mexicans are coming!!!
So NOW Mexicans have a monopoly on document fraud? Guess THIS ARTICLE in Business Week is wrong: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_16/b3829136.htm
Still can’t figure out why there’s this racist jihad against Mexicans—and as this article: http://www.harvardmagazine.com/2007/05/uneasy-neighbors-a-brief.html shows, NO MEXICANS means that the economy is fucked up…oops, i f-bombed it.

EminemsRevenge on June 27, 2007 at 7:44 pm

If in 1954 Operation Wetback could round up and send back 1,000,000 illegal aliens it seems that in 2007 we should be able to round up at least 5,000,000 for deportation. The thing is, we really don’t need to. When the freebies dry up, when our laws are enforced–they will self-deport.
They can then go to their countries of origin and devote their skills and work ethic to improving their society.

lexi on June 27, 2007 at 9:07 pm

The immigration bill fostering document fraud…? No shit Sherlock! There were tons of fraud docs circulating around during the last amnesty debacle in 1986. The sad fact was that many were used to procure SAW Cards (a fact well known to all agents) and eventually led to legalization. Most of these clowns ended up in jail for drugs, pedophelia, or other crimes; good productive citizens. Here we go again with the same dog, different collar.

1shot1kill on June 29, 2007 at 10:22 am

Debbie,
I guess you aren’t able to get any response from ICE, should you try to fact check your blogs, but here’s the rest of the story:
ICE/OI is working document and benefit fraud in every office in the country. They aren’t difficult cases to make, but it takes some time, and some work, and then you have to convince a United States Attorney (Justice Department) to prosecute. Most take these cases, but this hasn’t always been the case.
Because YOU don’t see anything being done, doesn’t mean an investigation is or isn’t underway.
If ICE were investigating this particular document vendor you wouldn’t know about it, until you read it in the paper. As it should be, by the way.
StayPositive has it right. More agents (Intelligence Research Specialists, and Investigative Assistants too) in 08, 09, 10, and “plus” the budget five-fold, so we can afford the infrastructure necessary to support the additional FTE’s and you’ll see more results.
This isn’t brain surgery. More Border Patrol Agents won’t solve the problem alone (though you wouldn’t know it watching the politicals).
EVS

EverVigilantSheepdog on June 29, 2007 at 9:49 pm

EVS get off the crack pipe. GS/13 special agents are assigned to do GS/5 clerk work at ICE. GS/5 clerks are assigned to hand out in the break room and watch the weather channel. ICE agents primary job is spending those fat paychecks. 6,000+ are doing a great job keeping consumer spending up. GREAT JOB guys. SEA DOO season is upon us! Careful though. PP just ruled that you can’t use the trailer hitch on those trucks and SUVs to tow those bad boys to the lake. Party Pooper (Peppermint Patty) would not approve SEA DOO’in for PT. :(

J Leyn on June 30, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Please send those checks to J Leyn c/o Debbie. J won the under bet on EVS going away. Send a check, send a BIG check to DS in J’s honor. Proceeds will be donated to the ICE uniform fund. GOT ICE?

J Leyn on June 30, 2007 at 5:13 pm

Not sure who is on the crack pipe. I couldn’t follow anything you said in either post. I’m not going away, and I don’t know anything about GS-13 agents working for GS-5 clerks. Not where I am, anyway.
Sober up dude, we got work to do.
EVS

EverVigilantSheepdog on June 30, 2007 at 6:03 pm

BINGO EVS. This is the problem. You are clueless to what is happening in ICE offices around the country. Sir, you live in a world that no longer exists. CUSTOMS OI is dead. ICE is the biggest do nothing agency in America. DHS is a joke. NOTHING IS WORKING. BAD IDEA needs to be scrapped. MEXICANS are not terrorists. But we can’t even keep them out. The radical Islamics come in on visas or they are born here as second and third generation suicide bombers. FBI failed in their mission of counter intelligence before and they are failing us now. DHS has NOTHING to do with fighting the war on terror. DHS chases hurricanes and Mexicans. And they fail at that simple task
The end is near. “Terrorism” is really Radical Islam. They are the problem but ICE is not the solution.

J Leyn on July 3, 2007 at 12:28 am

J.Leyn,
You and I clearly work in different versions of ICE. You say I’m clueless to what is happening in ICE offices around the country. I beg to differ sir.
I have friends in most, if not all of the 26 SAC Offices throughout ICE, and my information just doesn’t synch with yours. Those friends are working agents, and first-line supervisors up to and including SAC’s.
ICE is working, and the the work of ICE is being accomplished. People are going to jail, and illegals are being removed. ICE where I am is pursuing both immigration and customs violations, and making a difference.
I’m not saying it’s perfect, and never have. We still have a lot of room for improvement, and that’s our challenge.
Maybe you need to come work for me? LOL
Work safe,
EVS

EverVigilantSheepdog on July 3, 2007 at 8:41 pm

“Maybe you need to come work for me?” EVS
Maybe you need to take your head out of your ass and tell the truth. ICE is an ineffective, dysfunctional agency that does NOTHING well. Marcy has made it clear to the SACS via conference calls that ALL former CUSTOMS related criminal stats are way down. ICE arrests of CIVIL misdemeanor laborers are up but significant arrests are down. Our country is at risk because the most effective agency in the fight against terrorist funding has been dismantled. Agents who used to follow the money and chase extremist Muslim radicals are now chasing Mexicans around meat packing plants. GOD HELP US ALL. YOU sir are proof that ICE is an ineffective agency led by bureaucratic masters of waste, fraud and mismanagement.

J Leyn on July 3, 2007 at 11:57 pm

J. Leyn,
You wouldn’t recognize the truth, as you are too far gone, I’m afraid, to be saved.
ICE isn’t an ineffective agency, led by masters of waste, fraud, and mismanagement, but we do have a number of agents that are frauds, taking a paycheck that isn’t earned, retiring on-duty, when real work needs to be done.
You weren’t any good then, and you are worse now. Move on, and allow us to fill your position with one of the thousands that are waiting in line to do the job that’s worth doing.
I think that popping sound you’ll hear will be made by your head, as you come up for air, if you ever decide to join the real world.
EVS

EverVigilantSheepdog on July 4, 2007 at 3:01 am

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #h tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documents and 5000 dollars to a person name sandman at the US embassy in manila. she also submitted fake employment records to obtain a work visa. Her husband carlos b. morales also submitted fake documents (land titles and bank statements) to obtain a tourist visa. Her son carlo iii also used such and helped 2 other people to obtain a US tourist visa.

anon on December 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

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