EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso woman pleaded guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud and impersonation of a federal employee Monday, April 10, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The press release says 53-year-old Ana Maria Hernandez was reportedly portraying herself as a U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services employee and “defrauded numerous undocumented noncitizen victims” and their family members by stating that she would process their immigration applications for a substantial fee.
Victims of Hernandez provided her with documentation that is required for the process to adjust their immigration status. However she reportedly did not take any action to adjust their status and “amassed thousands of dollars of unexplained wealth within the 18 months coinciding with her fraudulent activity,” the press release continued.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas and the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso Division began receiving calls from dozens of “potential victims” from Hernandez’ scheme after she was arrested on Jan. 23, 2023.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office adds that Hernandez pleaded guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of impersonation of a federal employee. Hernandez could face a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment on each wire fraud count and an additional 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. A sentencing date has not yet been set,” the press release continued.