Fake immigration attorney sentenced to 20 years in prison in Florida

Florida, United States

Elvis Harold Reyes, one fake immigration attorney who defrauded the Hispanic community in Florida (US) by submitting more than 225 fraudulent asylum applications at the expense of his victims of more than $ 400,000, was sentenced to 20 years and 9 months in prison, the prosecution.

Reyes, 56, from Brandon, Hillsborough County fraudulent immigration applications on behalf of victims seeking asylum and protection from deportation as provided for in the United Nations Convention Against Torture, a statement from the prosecution said.

This will enlarge the document, forged answer questions in asylum applications, make up stories about threats, persecution and applicants’ fears of returning to their country of origin.

According to court documents, Reyes, who owned and operated EHR Ministries Inc., falsely described himself as an immigration attorney.

“He is not and has never been a licensed attorney. Reyes focused on undocumented immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries seeking driver’s licenses and work permits in Florida,” said the attorney general’s office.

He also provided legal advice and migratory false, inaccurate and incomplete for the victims, leading them to hire their services and those of EHR Ministries, a religious entity that, according to its website, offers “a variety of wedding ceremonies” and attends the absence of a local church.

The false attorney presented more than 225 fraudulent requests with the intention of causing the victims to lose more than $ 1 million, although the actual losses were around $ 411,000, according to the prosecution.

In addition to the deception, he threatened the injured victims who confronted him with deporting them.

“It is shocking that Elvis Reyes is taking advantage of vulnerable people living in fear in our county,” said Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister.

Victims of fraud

“I am proud of our investigators, who thoroughly investigated the allegations of each victim, and of our diligent efforts to reach members. undocumented of our community through public service announcements in English and Spanish, ”added the sheriff.

Michael Cochran, special assistant in charge of investigations for the Department of Homeland Security (HSI) in the Tampa area, in turn pointed out that “identity and benefit fraud are crimes that threaten the national security and public safety of the United States. .UU. “.

“This criminal has defrauded hundreds of victims who believed they were starting a path to legal citizenship,” he added.

According to the statement, Reyes, who pleaded guilty on December 15, 2020, has spent the proceeds of his crime on travel, luxury shopping, spas, jewelry, beautification / anti-aging procedures, and an allowance for his girlfriend, among other things. .

Chief District Judge Virginia M. Hernández Covington today sentenced Reyes to serving a term in federal prison. EFE