ICE lawyer charged with stealing immigrants' identities

The lawyer was caught emailing himself personal information from immigrants in order to steal their identities

The top lawyer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Seattle was charged on Monday with identity and wire fraud for attempting to use the information of immigrants the agency was investigating for his own financial gain.

According to a Department of Justice official, Sanchez resigned on Monday, the day the indictment against him was filed, reports BuzzFeed.

The charges allege that between 2013 and 2017 Sanchez attempted to defraud several major financial institutions by using personal information of seven people who were in different stages of immigration proceedings. The immigrants were all "in various stages of immigration proceedings", read the document signed by attorneys from Justice Department's Public Integrity Section. A spokeswoman for ICE's Seattle field office referred questions to the Department of Justice, where no one was immediately available to discuss the case.

Although specific details were few in the filing, an example of one of the allegations noted an April 2016 email that Sanchez sent from his government account to his personal Yahoo account.

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The document also accuses Sanchez of stealing an image of a Chinese person's permanent resident card and the biographical page of their passport.

According to The Associated Press, the email also allegedly contained a Puget Sound Energy bill in R.H.'s name for service at an address in a southern Seattle neighborhood with a large Asian population, to which property records list Sanchez as the owner of the address cited in the information.

Sanchez' attorney, Cassandra Stamm, said she is not commenting until after her client appears in court on Thursday. Ever since Donald Trump's was elected as the president of the country, his administration has been pushing immigration officials to be tougher on the undocumented immigrants - especially towards those with a criminal history.

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