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Iowa woman accused of defrauding people seeking residency

Posted at 7:53 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 20:53:43-05

A Des Moines woman is accused of playing a role in a fraud scheme that targeted immigrants.

Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of the 46-year-old woman on suspicion of first-degree theft, conspiracy and ongoing criminal conduct. It wasn’t immediately clear if she has been charged.

Police say an investigation was launched in August when detectives learned that someone in Texas was claiming to be an immigration attorney and taking cash payment while promising to expedite residency and citizenship. The investigation later revealed that a co-conspirator was operating in Des Moines. The person is Texas was not a real lawyer, and no services were rendered, police said.

In addition to the arrest in Des Moines, arrest warrants have been requested for the alleged co-conspirator in Texas.

Investigators believe there are additional victims who have yet to come forward and urged them to contact Des Moines police.