Orange Co. DA warns of rising immigration fraud schemesPosted: Updated:
Two foiled schemes are among a rising level of immigration fraud in the Hudson Valley.
Orange County District Attorney Dave Hoovler says Maria Medina and Byron Castillo ran separate schemes that preyed on immigrants by taking advantage of their language barrier and desire to stay in the country.
Hoovler says one of the scams attempted to convince immigrants that paying extra money would expedite the process of receiving a green card.
While these plans were thwarted, Latino activist Reuben Estrada says many of these crimes go unreported due to fear of deportation.
Scams like these are on the rise, according to police, to the point where Orange County has created an immigration task force dedicated to helping victims.
Medina has pleaded guilty and is now facing deportation herself. Castillo is still at large.
The immigration fraud charges against Medina and Castillo carry jail time and would require victims to be repaid.