Holland woman faces prison after defrauding immigrants seeking legal status

Posted at 4:37 PM, Nov 02, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan woman has been sentenced to 72 months in prison for defrauding immigrants seeking legal status by posing as a Department of Homeland Security attorney.

U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff sentenced Jessica Marie Rubio, 32, of Holland, according to a news release Monday.

Rubio, over a six-year period, told immigrants she would prepare and expedite the immigration application process for them, including by filing several forms to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of Justice immigration review office.

She demanded payment for her services, but never submitted the forms.

At least 91 individuals in Michigan, Texas, South Carolina and Alabama fell victim to the scheme – losing a total of nearly $274,000.

Another two individuals did not lose money, but their identity or employment affiliation were misappropriated by Rubio.

Neff called Rubio’s actions “appalling.”

“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,” Neff said. “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.”

The court imposed mandatory restitution of the total amount of money the victims lost, as well as a forfeiture money judgment of more than $105,000.

Rubio was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release after her prison sentence and a $100 special assessment.