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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Eagle Pass Woman Sentenced To Federal Prison For Faking Her Own Kidnapping For Ransom Money

In Del Rio this afternoon, 25-year-old Julia Esmeralda Garza of  Eagle Pass, TX, was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for her role in a fraudulent kidnapping scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse, San Antonio Division.

According to court records, on May 8, 2013, Garza used her cellphone to make phone calls and send text messages to a friend in attempt to obtain approximately $700 in ransom money.  During the scheme, Garza fraudulently claimed that she had been kidnapped, threatened and was being held against her will in Mexico.  The friend notified local police of the potential kidnapping. On November 20, 2013, Garza pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

“This case demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to investigate and seek prosecution of individuals, who participate in fraudulent schemes, which compromise public safety by diverting valuable law enforcement resources away from true victims,” stated FBI ASAC Rouse.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with Eagle Pass Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Lewis Thomas prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Component(s): 
Updated December 15, 2014