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ICE Chief Counsel in Washington State Charged with Identity Theft

15 February 2018

Raphael Sanchez, chief counsel for ICE in Seattle, used the identities of seven people "in various stages of immigration proceedings" to obtain "money and property" from financial institutions, according to charges filed by the Justice Department.

Sanchez was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a court document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Monday.

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Sanchez resigned effective February 12, the day the information-a federal charging document-was filed in the Western District of Washington.

The charges further state that on April 18, 2016, Sanchez sent himself an email through his government account containing an image of a US permanent resident card and the biographical page of a Chinese passport issued to R.H., according to The Associated Press. Sanchez allegedly used his ICE email to send some of the identifying personal information of the victims to his personal email. ICE could not comment further and referred additional questions to the Department of Justice, as the matter is now pending judicial proceedings.

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A defense attorney for Sanchez did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

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The Associated Press notes that the filing of an information suggests that a plea deal is in the works; it's only filed when the defendant has waived the right to a grand jury.

Mr. Sanchez is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Thursday, his lawyer, Cassandra Stamm, said in an email.

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ICE is in the national spotlight for its treatment of immigrants under the Trump administration.

ICE Chief Counsel in Washington State Charged with Identity Theft