Immigration consultant accused of defrauding clients
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A woman who works as an immigration consultant defrauded clients by accepting money without submitting applications to immigration officials, authorities said Monday.
Jasmine Sanchez, 36, of San Jose turned herself in on Saturday to a bail bondsman. She could face charges of grand theft, theft by false pretenses and violations of the immigration consultant act.
"She deserves what she gets. She makes people suffer, she should suffer too," said an alleged victim, Julieann Escobar.
Escobar said she was defrauded by Sanchez, who worked out of a business center at Story and King roads. Escobar says the woman failed to turn in a visa and citizenship application for her husband, defrauding the couple of nearly $5,000.
"We paid everything that we were supposed to pay to her to fix the papers, and we never got any proof of anything being done," Escobar said.
The Santa Clara County sheriff's office conducted a four-month investigation.
Detectives interviewed the immigration consultant at her office at the Tropicana shopping center.
Sheriff's Deputy Russell Davis said Sanchez simply kept her clients' money without doing the work.
"This couple trusted Ms. Sanchez to provide the proper documentation and paperwork to obtain citizenship," Davis said. "At the end of it they later determined that none of the paperwork was actually submitted to immigration."
Investigators say Sanchez failed to provide any refunds.
Sanchez faces a court date in the future pending review of the case by prosecutors.
Escobar said she and her husband were unable to visit dying relatives in Mexico, including her brother-in-law, because of what happened.
"I get so frustrated when I think about that, because right away think about my brother in law and how I wasn't able to meet him because she was playing games," she said.
Investigators say Sanchez also defrauded a man who paid her $1,000 for a DACA application.
"He was in the process of obtaining a scholarship through a trade school and unfortunately due to those circumstances, that all got denied," Davis said.
Escobar said the suspect took advantage of Latino victims.
"For her to be doing that to people, you know, her own kind, that's wrong," she said. "For somebody to do that, I believe in karma."