Southern Oregon Men Sentenced for Immigration Fraud and Money Laundering
Defendants used Medford-based Business to Perpetrate State-Wide Immigration Fraud
MEDFORD, Ore. – Today, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane sentenced Patrick Snyder, 41, of Grants Pass, Oregon, and Juvenal Vega Rodriguez, 54, of Medford, Oregon, for perpetrating a large-scale immigration fraud and money laundering violations—more than 90 immigrants were defrauded out of more than $600,000 between 2009 and 2012. Judge McShane sentenced Snyder to 75 months of imprisonment and ordered him to pay $637,190 in restitution. Likewise, he sentenced Vega to 41 months of imprisonment and ordered him to pay $150,000 in restitution. Previously, Snyder pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering, and Vega pleaded guilty to money laundering.
According to court documents, Snyder and Vega used Snyder’s business, Immigration Solutions, to solicit immigrants seeking legal status in the United States, falsely promising that they could obtain legal status for these individuals for a fee that ranged between $5,000 and $10,000. While Snyder and Vega lived in the Medford, Oregon, area, Vega, who immigrated from Mexico and became a U.S. Citizen the United States in 1990s, recruited individuals to use their alleged immigration services at various church and social gatherings throughout Oregon, specifically targeting Spanish-speaking immigrants. Snyder, found to be a leader and organizer of the scheme, admitted that he targeted his victims based on their race, national origin, and ethnicity.
As part of their scheme, as noted in court records, Snyder and Vega falsely told their victims that they were accredited representatives with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, that Snyder was a lawyer, that Snyder had connections with immigration officials, that Snyder was an immigration agent, and that Snyder was a detective with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When clients of their alleged immigration services questioned their work, Snyder and Vega threatened those clients with deportation and other consequences.
Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, commented, “These defendants targeted an extremely vulnerable group of individuals based on their race, national origin, and ethnicity. They were the perfect victims—they were desperate and fearful, and these defendants exploited that desperation and fear for their own greedy desires. My office cannot and will not tolerate such conduct. In addition to the FBI, I would like to thank the Medford Police Department and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this important case.”
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Bradford.