West Michigan Woman Sentenced To 72 Months In Prison For Defrauding Immigrants Seeking Legal Status By Posing As A Department Of Homeland Security Attorney
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan
Jessica Marie Rubio also was Ordered to Pay $273,755 in Restitution to 91 Victims in Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, and Alabama
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff sentenced Jessica Marie Rubio, 32, of Holland, Michigan, to 72 months’ imprisonment for defrauding immigrants without legal status in the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349 and 1343. Rubio was sentenced in Grand Rapids today by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff. In imposing the sentence, Judge Neff commented that Rubio’s fraud was elaborate and found it “appalling when you pick on people trying to pursue the American dream and do it for your own financial gain . . . .”
“Rubio’s fraud scheme targeted people attempting to comply with the immigration laws of the United States and lawfully file paperwork to gain status in the United States. She took advantage of their hopes and dreams, yet pocketed their application fees and never filed these forms with the agencies that administer our immigration laws,” U.S. Attorney Birge commented.
Over a six year period, Rubio solicited people who did not have legal status in the United States by assuming the identity of a Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) attorney and promised to prepare and expedite the immigration application process for them, which included the filing of numerous immigration forms to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the Department of Justice - Executive Office for Immigration Review. Rubio demanded payment for her services, purported to be legitimate fees, but never submitted those forms on her clients’ behalf. At least 91 victims in Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, and Alabama fell victim to this scheme, plus at least two other victims with no monetary losses but whose identity or employment affiliation Rubio misappropriated. Total loss amounts are calculated at $273,755 at the time of sentencing. Rubio violated her pretrial bond and was a fugitive between March 26, 2019 and December 13, 2019, when a U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force investigation located Rubio and returned her to face trial.
Maintaining the integrity of our nation’s immigration system remains one of the top priorities for the DHS Office of Inspector General (“OIG”). “To that end, the DHS OIG and our
law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue and investigate those who attempt to defraud the system. The agency has zero tolerance for those who prey upon the vulnerable who simply desire to become U.S. citizens,” Special Agent in Charge Todd Dennis, DHS OIG – Detroit Field Office said.
“As this sentence makes clear, individuals who undermine our nation’s security by compromising the integrity of our immigration laws for their own enrichment will face serious
consequences,” said Shane Folden, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio. Working closely with our law enforcement partners, HSI will move
aggressively to hold those involved in these types of criminal schemes accountable.”
As part of her sentence, the court imposed mandatory restitution for the victims in the amount of $273,755, and a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $105,245. Rubio also was ordered to serve two years of supervised release following her prison sentence and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by DHS OIG - Detroit Field Office; HSI - San Antonio (Texas) Field Office; HSI - Grand Rapids, the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate of USCIS - Harlingen (Texas) Field Office; Texas Department of Public Safety - Harlingen Criminal Investigations Division; U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force; and the Holland Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay M. West prosecuted the case.
Updated November 2, 2020