St. Croix Man Who Posed As Immigration Arbitrar Gets Two Years In Prison
CHRISTIANSTED – A 60-year-old St. Croix man who charged a fee to illegal migrants to allow them to stay in the United States without papers was sentenced to two years in prison by a federal judge.
On September 2, 2016, District Court Chief Judge Wilma A. Lewis sentenced Miguel Esperanza-Vasquez, 60, to 24 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release for wire fraud, United States Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.
Chief Judge Lewis ordered Esperanza-Vasquez of LBJ Gardens to pay restitution in the amount of $27,120 and a $100 special assessment fee, Sharpe said.
On February 11, 2016, Esperanza-Vasquez pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. As set forth in the plea agreement filed with the Court, Esperanza-Vasquez had no connection with any law enforcement or administrative agency concerned with immigration matters, yet he held himself out to be in a position to materially influence whether an undocumented immigrant could remain in the United States.
As part of a scheme to defraud, Esperanza-Vazquez used his purported position to obtain money from the undocumented immigrant that he was not entitled to receive. Specifically, on May 12, 2013, as part of this scheme, Esperanza-Vazquez caused a Western Union money order to be sent by wire in interstate commerce from Houston, Texas, to St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.
It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith J. Edwards.
U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe