Wednesday, January 9, 2019

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Man guilty of immigrant assistance services fraud

Castillo

GOSHEN – A former Middletown man pled guilty on Tuesday before Orange County Court Judge Robert Freehill to grand larceny in connection with a scheme to defraud recent immigrants by false promises of expedited immigration proceedings. He was also charged with the felony of immigration assistance fraud.

Byron Castillo, 37, admitted that he had defrauded a recent immigrant from Ecuador, by promising her that he would arrange to have her relatives obtain US visas and would also provide them with false visa documents and plane tickets.

As part of the plea agreement, the district attorney’s office will recommend that he be sentenced to one to three years in state prison and that he pay restitution to five recent immigrants that he had defrauded in that manner.

The case was prosecuted as part of the Orange County DA’s Office Immigration Affairs Initiative.

This is the second time Immigration Assistance Fraud has been charged in Orange County. In an unrelated case, Maria Medina, 67, formerly of Wallkill, pled guilty to the same charge.

In August 2016, DA David Hoovler launched a new initiative designed to assist the county’s immigrants in dealing with the criminal justice system. Under his program, an immigrant who has been the victim of a crime is able to call the DA’s immigrant affairs coordinator to report the crime, and the coordinator, in turn, will ensure the immigrant’s complaint is routed to the prosecution unit in the DA’s office that is most appropriate to investigate it.

Victimized immigrants may report any type of crime, including violent crimes, human trafficking, domestic violence, and frauds.

Immigrants in need of assistance in dealing with a criminal case in which the are the victim, or those in need of additional information about the program may contact Counsel to the DA Robert Conflitti, who serves as the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, by calling 845-291-2050.

 


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