CALDWELL WOMAN INDICTED FOR MAIL FRAUD AND MISUSE OF U.S. GOVERNMENT SEALS
Crystal Tijerina, 29, of Caldwell, Idaho, was arrested today for mail fraud and misuse of U.S. Government seals, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. On February 8, 2011, a federal grand jury in Boise indicted Tijerina on the charges. An arraignment date has not been set.
The indictment charges Tijerina with devising a scheme to defraud victims by obtaining money by materially false and fraudulent pretenses through the use of the U.S. Postal Service. Tijerina operated “Soluciones Economicas,” a business which purported to assist aliens with filing immigration paperwork. Tijerina allegedly accepted money for fraudulent services, and fines and fees purportedly owed to the U.S. Government. As part of the scheme to defraud, Tijerina allegedly created fraudulent documents containing U.S. Government seals, and then mailed them to the victims through the U.S. Postal Service.
Mail fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Misuse of U.S. Government seals is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
“As is so often the case, most of the people who ended up being victimized by this defendant were trying to do the right thing and abide by the law,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho. “Instead, they ended up being duped. This enforcement action should send a message about our collective resolve to seek justice for those who prey on the well intentioned and the vulnerable.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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