BOSTON – Two men were charged today in federal court in Boston with impersonating federal agents in connection with a scheme to defraud persons trying to obtain legal resident status in the United States.
Francisco Soares, 44, of Foxborough and Paul Stein, 58, of Mashpee, were charged with conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer and falsely impersonating a federal agent.
According to the indictment, form October 2011 until July 2014, Soares posed as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent and Stein posed as a Federal Bureau of Investigation employee. The men told persons who were present in the United States illegally that they could fix their immigration problems, remove any impediments including evidence of prior immigration arrests, and get them lawful permanent resident status – known as a “green card” – in exchange for as much as $10,500. Stein allegedly fingerprinted the aliens, for a fee of $50-$250, ostensibly to facilitate the process of “cleaning” the aliens’ records. The aliens were charged various amounts in incremental payments and the process often extended over a period of months or even years.
The charging statutes provide a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The Massachusetts State Police, Woburn, Foxborough, and Mashpee Police Departments, and Bristol County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Thomas E. Kanwit of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.