Oregon Immigration Scammers Exposed

Oregon Immigration Scammers Exposed

"Immigration lawyers say Snyder and Vega plied Interstate 5 from Portland to Los Angeles for four years, assuring undocumented immigrants they would help them earn work visas and citizenship quick—an appealing scenario for a process that usually takes years. Instead, victims say Snyder and Vega made promises they didn’t keep, filing false documents or doing nothing at all while milking them for as much money as possible.

Immigration Solutions recruited immigrants at churches and through word-of-mouth. Snyder would wear fake badges and show up in fancy black cars to burnish his image as a government agent. When promised documents failed to come through, Vega would make excuses for Snyder, before both eventually stopped returning victims’ frantic calls.

Lawyers familiar with the case tell WW the pair duped at least 80 people—including dozens in the Portland and Salem areas—but the actual number isn’t known. The lawyers estimate the pair made off with between $500,000 and $1 million.

Most victims of what’s known in immigration circles as “notario fraud” never come forward, terrified that if they speak to police about the crime, they’ll be deported.

Immigration Solutions has been under investigation by state and federal authorities since 2011, even as Snyder and Vega continued to operate through mid-2012. Immigration lawyers who have provided the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys with notebooks of evidence are outraged by the lack of action." - Andrea Damewood, Nov. 27, 2013.