Scammers selling fake Cuban birth certificates to be sentenced
It would seem the possibilities for profiting from the misery of the Cuban people are simply endless...
Scammers to be sentenced for selling fake Cuban birth certificates to people seeking U.S. residency
U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga is expected Friday to sentence members of a network who sold false Cuban birth certificates to undocumented immigrants so they could pretend to be Cubans and obtain green cards.
Thanks to the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, Cubans who arrive in the United States without a visa can remain in the country and apply for residence after a year and one day. This immigration benefit is available only to people who can prove they are Cuban citizens.
The case in Miami federal court exposed the first public details of what has become an increasingly common practice in South Florida.
Miami immigration attorney Wilfredo Allen said he has represented more than a half-dozen clients in the past few years who have been accused by immigration authorities of carrying residence cards obtained illegally with false Cuban documents.
Allen said immigration authorities have developed sophisticated methods to discover the fraud related to the Cuban Adjustment Act, and can verify, if they have any suspicion, whether the applicant is presenting an authentic Cuban document.
The network, consisting of four members, three from Naples and one from Kissimmee, was dismantled in September, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested and charged them with conspiring to commit immigration fraud.
All initially pleaded not guilty, but changed their minds and their pleas. Since then, Judge Altonaga has sentenced one of them to six months in prison and two years of parole, including nine months of house arrest.
Two more are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.
The accused are Nelson Daniel Silvestri Soutto, Laura María Ponce Santos and Amelia Osorio of Naples, and Fidel Morejón Vega of Kissimmee
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