San Antonio Couple Plead Guilty in Immigrant Legal Fees Scam
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Prosecutors say a San Antonio couple husband and wife have pleaded guilty to scamming immigrants in federal detention centers by pretending to represent lawyers.
Eric Alva and Jessica Alva pleaded guilty Thursday in San Antonio to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Both could receive five-year prison terms over what authorities say were 2015 cases involving immigrants believed to be in the U.S. illegally.
Prosecutors say both Alvas falsely claimed to work for San Antonio attorneys and conspired to collect legal fees from immigrants held in Louisiana.
Officials say Jessica Alva visited the South Louisiana Correctional Center in Basile and the LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena. Jessica Alva, who's not a lawyer, faxed forged letters to federal authorities to gain access to immigrants and fraudulently sought payment.