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SEATTLE (AP) — The chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle has been charged with stealing immigrants' identities.
Raphael A. Sanchez, who resigned from the agency effective Monday, faces one count of aggravated identity theft and another of wire fraud in a charging document filed Monday in U.S. District Court.
Prosecutors with the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section allege that Sanchez stole the identities of seven people "in various stages of immigration proceedings" to defraud credit card companies including American Express, Bank of America and Capital One.
Neither Sanchez nor his lawyer, Cassandra Stamm, immediately returned emails seeking comment Tuesday.
According to court rules, the type of charging document filed in Sanchez's case — called an information — can be filed only when a defendant has agreed to waive his or her right to be indicted by a grand jury; it's typically an indication that a plea agreement is in the works. The court's calendar showed that Sanchez is due to enter a plea Thursday.
The charging document contained few specifics about the allegations, but did give one example: It said that in April 2016, Sanchez sent an email from his government account to his Yahoo account that included personal information pertaining to a Chinese national identified only as R.H. The information Sanchez sent included an image of R.H.'s U.S. permanent resident card, the biographical page of R.H.'s Chinese passport and a utility bill in R.H.'s name.
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