EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso woman was arrested Monday, Jan. 23 on criminal charges related to alleged wire fraud and impersonating a federal employee.

According to United States Attorney’s office, 53-year-old Ana Maria Hernandez allegedly portrayed herself as a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) employee and defrauded more than 20 victims by providing them a false pretext that she would process their immigration applications for a substantial fee.

Hernandez’s victims then provided her with the documentation required to file and adjust their immigration status. Investigators revealed that Hernandez had allegedly accumulated more than
$400,000 of unexplained wealth within the 18 months during the alleged fraudulent activity.

An indictment returned by an El Paso grand jury charges Hernandez with 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of impersonating a federal employee. The maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment for each wire fraud count and three years on the impersonation count. A
federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing
Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge
Francisco B. Burrola of the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso Division made the
announcement. HSI El Paso is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Aguayo is prosecuting the case.