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Press Release

Tampa Woman Sentenced To Four Years In Federal Prison For Immigration Fraud Scheme Stretching From Tampa To Chicago

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Erika Paola Intriago (45, Tampa) to four years in federal prison for wire fraud in connection with a fraud scheme involving her posing as an immigration attorney to more than 50 victims in Chicago and Tampa. The court also ordered Intriago to forfeit $53,663, the proceeds of her offense.

Intriago had pleaded guilty on October 31, 2019.

According to court documents, Intriago portrayed herself as an immigration attorney and personal representative offering immigration-related services. She advertised her services on social media, targeting immigrants and immigrant families from Spanish-speaking countries. In fact, Intriago was not a licensed attorney in any state.

At least 55 victims retained and paid Intriago to represent them in immigration-related matters before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other agencies. To prove that she was acting on the victims’ behalf, Intriago sent fraudulent letters, emails, receipts, documents, and communications to her victims, fraudulently representing that these records were legitimate communications sent from agencies of the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS. In actuality, Intriago had either never filed the necessary immigration paperwork, had abandoned the immigration process, or the applications had already been denied without Intriago informing the victims. Intriago also threatened and intimidated victims who complained about her conduct by telling them that she would report their immigration status to U.S. immigration authorities, which Intriago claimed would result in the victims being deported.

“Immigration fraud is a serious threat to our national security,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Cochran. “Her illegal scheme tried to undermine the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system, while preying on victims who were vulnerable and trying to navigate a path to citizenship.”  

“Justice was served today with this sentencing,” said USCIS Tampa District Director Michael Borgen. “The defendant defrauded immigrants in an elaborate unlawful scheme, and USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security division is proud to have partnered with HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to continue protecting our immigration system.”

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray.

Updated February 5, 2020

Financial Fraud