fraud

Two men admit using counterfeit credit cards in Washington County, Portland

Summary: Two suspects arrested last December after allegedly using counterfeit credit cards in Washington County and other locations have been convicted and sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland....

Sentence: Zhao and Zou were each sentenced to six months in federal custody, followed by three years of supervised release. Zhao was ordered to pay restitution of $12,211.67 and a special assessment fee of $100. Zou was ordered to pay restitution in an amount yet to be determined and a special assessment fee of $100.

NOTE:  Both suspects have ICE holds

 

Food stamp fraud defendants flood the court

Many of the suspects arrested in the food stamp fraud bust known as Operation Gold Card appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. Future dates were set, but the cases did not advance much behind scheduling the next steps in the sprawling legal proceeding.

As of Tuesday, 49 suspects had been arrested for allegedly trading their state benefits for cash. Sixty-five suspects were identified in the investigation, which means 16 people are still being sought by the authorities.

Operation Gold Card was launched last spring in the wake of the multi-agency drug bust known as Operation Trojan Horse.

A source pointed local and federal law enforcement officers to a meat market and taco stand in Klamath Falls where the owners were allegedly ringing up customers with phony purchases in order to trade them cash for the electronic benefits contained on their Oregon Trail Cards, at the rate of 50 cents on the dollar.

Arrests began early in the morning of May 10 at several locations. The three alleged ringleaders in the operation — Jose Moreno-Hernandez, Rafael Ortega-Vargas and Severo Toro-Castellon — were arrested in the first day.

Detective Eric Shepherd, Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, said all the identified suspects are Klamath County residents. The 16 who are unaccounted for are still thought to be in the area as well.

“They’re all locals. These guys are not going to flee … I don’t think they have the means to relocate,” Shepherd said. “They may not even know that they’re wanted.”

Some of the wanted suspects are transients, making them hard to locate, or frequent guests of the county jail, meaning law enforcement officers will probably run into them eventually.

The food stamp fraud operation is thought to have made $12,000 to $20,000 a month. It may have been running for the past five years.

“It’s an easy system to defraud; it’s temptation. People are out of work, out of money, they’re looking for a way to get an extra dollar,” Shepherd said of the lure of the fraud operation. “You can’t buy certain things on a Oregon Trail Card you can buy with cash.”

Court hearings

Judge Marci Adkisson’s courtroom was packed Tuesday afternoon with Gold Card suspects and other, unrelated defendants. It was standing room only as people stood in the aisle and spilled out into the hallway.

Moreno-Hernandez and Ortega-Vargas were both present in restraints, as neither has posted their bail amounts.

Currently held in lieu of a $1 million bail bond, Moreno-Hernandez had previously pleaded not guilty to 10 charges. His trial date was set for July 2 at 9 a.m.

A settlement offer in the case should be prepared by the end of the week. District Attorney Rob Patridge said in court the state is waiting for additional information from the KCSO.

“It will take a while,” Patridge noted. “We believe there are funds stashed elsewhere as well.”

Ortega-Vargas, held in lieu of $750,000, had his trial also set for July 2. Patridge noted there might be pending immigration issues with both suspects.

According to Patridge and his deputy DAs, offers and discovery information should be completed for the rest of the Gold Card suspects by the end of this week.

Other cases

Detective Shepherd said several other food stamp fraud cases have sprung up around Oregon. Last week in Beaverton, a man accused of running a scheme similar to the alleged dealings in Klamath Falls was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

According to the Oregonian, 42-year-old Mahmoud Tajgerdu was trading cash for benefits out of his meat market and gas station. He may have been able to steal more than $1 million from the welfare system.

Several of Tajgerdu’s employees were charged in the case as well, according to the Oregonian.

Six year report: Criminal aliens incarcerated in the Oregon Dept. of Corrections

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Population Profile dated May 1, 2014 DOC indicated there were 14,657 prisoners incarcerated in DOC’s 14 prisons (See attachment).

Not included in DOC’s May 1st Inmate Population Profile was DOC data indicating there were 1,133 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in its prison system (See attachment).

All 1,133 criminal aliens incarcerated on May 1st by DOC had United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detainers. The U.S. DHS–ICE is responsible for indentifying whether a DOC inmate is a criminal alien or a domestic inmate. If an inmate is identified as being a criminal alien, at U.S. DHS–ICE’s request, the DOC places an “ICE detainer” on the inmate that directs DOC officials to transfer custody to ICE following completion of the inmate’s state sanction.

Criminal aliens made up approximately 7.73% of the DOC May 1st prison population (See table).

 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE detainers

May 1, 2008

13,614

12,544

1,070

7.86%

May 1, 2009

13,907

12,731

1,176

8.46%

May 1, 2010

13,998

12,764

1,234

8.82%

May 1, 2011

14,038

12,775

1,263

9.00%

May 1, 2012

14,057

12,787

1,270

9.03%

May 1, 2013

14,396

13,201

1,195

8.30%

May 1, 2014

14,657

13,524

1,133

7.73%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 MAY 08rtf – 01 MAY 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 MAY 08– 01 MAY 14.

Comparing DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers from May 1, 2008 (1,070 criminal aliens) and May 1, 2014 (1,133 criminal aliens), the DOC prison system incarcerated 63 criminal aliens more than it did on May 1, 2008, a 5.89% increase (See table).

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers # Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers % Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

May 1, 2008

1,070

————

————

May 1, 2009

1,176

106

9.91%

May 1, 2010

1,234

58

4.93%

May 1, 2011

1,263

29

2.35%

May 1, 2012

1,270

7

0.55%

May 1, 2013

1,195

(75)

(5.90%)

May 1, 2014

1,133

(62)

(5.19%)

Total

63

5.89%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 MAY 08rtf – 01 MAY 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 MAY 08– 01 MAY 14.

When comparing DOC domestic criminal incarceration numbers from May 1, 2008 (12,544 domestic criminals) and May 1, 2014 (13,524 domestic criminals), the DOC prison system incarcerated 980 domestic criminals more than it did on May 1, 2008, a 7.81% increase (See table).

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Domestic Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates # Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

DOC Domestic Inmates % Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

May 1, 2008

12,544

————

————

May 1, 2009

12,731

187

1.49%

May 1, 2010

12,764

33

0.26%

May 1, 2011

12,775

11

0.09%

May 1, 2012

12,787

12

0.09%

May 1, 2013

13,201

414

3.24%

May 1, 2014

13,524

323

2.45%

Total

980

7.81%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 MAY 08rtf – 01 MAY 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 MAY 08– 01 MAY 14.

Bringing the preceding numbers together, from May 1st 2008 – 2014, six years, the DOC prison population grew by 1,043 domestic and criminal alien prisoners; 6.04% of the overall growth was in criminal alien prisoners.

A review of the 1,133 criminal aliens in DOC prisons by number per county and percentage (%) per county equated to the following: 0-Baker (0.00%); 15-Benton (1.32%); 78-Clackamas (6.88%); 4-Clatsop (0.35%); 1-Columbia (0.09%); 5-Coos (0.44%); 2-Crook (0.18%); 0-Curry (0.00%); 19-Deschutes (1.68%); 5-Douglas (0.44%); 1-Gilliam (0.09%); 0-Grant (0.00%); 0-Harney (0.00%); 5-Hood River (0.44%); 49-Jackson (4.32%); 9-Jefferson (0.79%); 7-Josephine (0.62%); 8-Klamath (0.71%); 0-Lake (0.00); 58-Lane (5.12%); 9-Lincoln (0.79%); 28-Linn (2.47%); 12-Malheur (1.06%); 266-Marion (23.48%); 4-Morrow (0.35%); 275-Multnomah (24.27%); 1-OOS (0.09%); 17-Polk (1.50%); 0-Sherman (0.00%); 4-Tillamook (0.35%); 19-Umatilla (1.68%); 3-Union (0.26); 0-Wallowa (0.00%); 3-Wasco (0.26%); 195-Washington (17.21%); 0-Wheeler (0.00%); and 31-Yamhill (2.74%).

No member of the Oregon State Legislature should forget the uncounted crime victims and their families, no matter what their immigration status, all victims of the 1,133 criminal aliens incarcerated in DOC prisons.

A review of the 1,133 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers per crime and percentage (%) per crime equated to the following: 2-arsons (0.18%); 105-assaults (9.27%); 24-burglaries (2.12%); 14-driving offenses (1.23%); 175-drugs (15.44%); 0-escape (0.00%); 3-forgeries (0.26%); 146-homicides (12.89%); 47-kidnappings (4.15%); 57-others (5.03%); 176-rapes (15.53%); 67-robberies (5.91%); 207-sex abuses (18.27%); 93-sodomies (8.21%); 12-thefts (1.06%); and 5-vehicle thefts (0.44%).

Oregon State Legislators should not overlook the source of the preceding crimes, the country of origin of the 1,133 criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The self-declared counties of origin of the 1,133 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers and percentage (%) per country equated to the following: 6-Canada (0.53%); 11-Cuba (0.97%); 15-El Salvador (1.32%); 7-Federated States of Micronesia (0.62%); 32-Guatemala (2.82%); 11-Honduras (0.97%); 6-Laos (0.53%); 918-Mexico (81.02%); 83-others (7.32%); 6-Philippines (0.53%); 9-Russia (0.79%); 12-Ukraine (1.06%); and 17-Vietnam (1.50%).

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner incarcerated in the DOC prison system costs the state approximately ($87.08) per day; the cost to incarcerate a prisoner increased ($2.27) per day in May 2014, a 2.67% increase from 2013’s cost of ($84.81) per day (See link).

http://www.oregon.gov/doc/GECO/docs/pdf/IB_53_quick_facts.pdf

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 1,133 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($98,661.64) per day, ($690,631.48) per week, and ($36,011,498.60) per year.

Even taking into account fiscal year 2013 United States Federal Government State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) award of $2,146,935.00, if the State of Oregon receives the same amount of SCAAP funding for fiscal year 2014, the cost to incarcerate 1,133 criminal aliens to the DOC will be at least ($33,864,563.60) (See link).

https://www.bja.gov/Funding/13SCAAPawards.pdf

None of preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 1,133 criminal aliens include the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), court costs, nor cost estimates to cover victim assistance.

An unfortunate fact, the State of Oregon is not fully cooperating with the U.S. DHS–ICE to fight crime committed by criminal aliens who reside in Oregon.

In year 2007, a United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) report titled “Cooperation of SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General Audit Division, Audit Report 07-07, May 2007, Redacted-Public Version” identified the State of Oregon as having an official “state sanctuary statute,” ORS 181.850 Enforcement of federal immigration laws (See link).

http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/OJP/a0707/final.pdf

The USDOJ, the federal governments top law enforcement agency, identified Oregon as a “sanctuary” for criminal aliens.

An Oregon law, Oregon Revised Statue 181.850 (ORS 181.850), Section (1), prohibits Oregon law enforcement (Oregon State Police (OSP), county sheriffs, city police departments) from asking immigration status of anyone residing in the State of Oregon “for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.” Under ORS 181.850, Section (2), Oregon law enforcement may exchange information with U.S. DHS–ICE . . . “in order to: Subsection (a), “Verify the immigration status of a person if the person is arrested for any criminal offense;” or, Subsection (b), “Request criminal investigation information with reference to persons named in records of the” U.S. DHS–ICE . . . (See link).

http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/lawsstatutes/2013ors181.html

The State of Oregon should no longer be classified by U.S. federal government law enforcement as having an official “state sanctuary statute” for criminal aliens, nor should Oregon be a sanctuary for criminal aliens to kill, rape, maim or abuse Oregonians.

 

States Buck Public Opinion, Offer Driver's Licenses to Illegals

Nevada has become the latest state to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license — even as public opinion polls show that the great majority of Americans oppose such measures.
 
A national poll conducted in October by Rasmussen Reports found that 68 percent of likely U.S. voters think illegal immigrants should not be allowed to obtain state driver's licenses. Just 22 percent favor licenses for illegals in their state.

Critics say the laws encourage illegal immigration by legitimizing the status of those who come to the United States illegally.

"It is a kind of amnesty. It doesn't given them any legal status, but by giving them a government-issued ID, it helps them imbed in society," Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., said in an interview with Newsmax.


"This is a way of protecting illegals from coming to the attention of immigration authorities," Krikorian said. "It's a way of documenting the undocumented."

In Nevada, Democratic-led lawmakers approved a driver's license law in 2013. It was signed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, the state's first Hispanic governor, who considers it a public safety measure, and went into effect at the beginning of this month.

"Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's privilege card will increase the number of drivers on Nevada's roads that are insured and aware of traffic rules and regulations," Sandoval said in a statement after signing the bill.


When Nevada began issuing licenses on Jan. 2, long lines formed at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Las Vegas, waiting for the 8 a.m. opening of the office. The Associated Press reported that "thousands of Nevada immigrants" sought to obtain licenses on the first day.

Those applying for the driving privilege cards must show some proof of their identity as well as evidence of Nevada residency and insurance. New drivers must pass a driving test, and pay to retake the test if they fail.

The information provided for the licenses, however, may not be used against them for purposes of enforcing immigration laws, a key provision in a state like Nevada where about a fourth of all residents are Latino.

 
Other states that have approved similar laws include Utah, Washington, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, California, New Mexico, and Illinois, along with the District of Columbia.

Said California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, in signing his state's law last year: "No longer are undocumented people in the shadows. They are alive and well and respected in the State of California."

The climate of permissiveness licenses for illegals follows a crackdown period after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that came in response to widespread fears of foreign-born terrorists entering the country.

 
"After 9-11, things were tightening up. Now those states that are mainly run by Democrats are backtracking," said Krikorian, noting that Congress has given leeway through the REAL ID law to states to issue immigrant driver's cards, but those cannot be used for federal identification purposes like boarding planes.

New Mexico, with the nation's largest Hispanic population, is one state attempting to buck the trend. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is hoping to convince the Democratic-led state legislature to repeal the state's current law, which offers licenses to illegals.She has tried before and failed, but vows to continue.

Polling shows that Martinez has support for her position, said Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc., a New Mexico firm that has polled for the Albuquerque Journal twice on the issue.

"Both times, the polls that we did for the Journal showed approximately 70 percent of registered voters opposed granting licenses to undocumented workers," Sanderoff told Newsmax.

"I think it's a significant issue to the extent that the governor is once again latching onto it," he said.

New Mexico differs from its heavily Hispanic neighbor Arizona, where its governor, Republican Jan Brewer, has taken an aggressive stance against illegals in her state. In New Mexico, most Hispanic residents are natives, tracing their lineage back to Spain, said Sanderoff.

"Most New Mexicans are Americans, born and raised here, more so than the average state," he said, which likely explains why voters there oppose the law by a wide margin.

The trend could continue as Congress renews its debate on immigration reform this year and proponents continue to push for the measure in more states.

"The push for it is nationally coordinated," Krikorian said. "There is a broader push by national groups to have more say in the issue. They see it in two ways. First, as a practical matter, it helps to imbed the illegal immigrants in the U.S., making it less likely they will leave. Also, it will be presented as evidence of nationwide momentum for immigration 'reform.'"
 

Portland-area shopping spree with fake credit cards land duo in jail, court documents say

Two men face charges after allegedly using counterfeit credit cards to go on shopping sprees at retailers in Portland, Tigard and Salem.

Yu Zou, 28, of San Gabriel, Calif., and Shenghua Zhao, 33, of Olympia, Wash., were arrested in Portland Wednesday, Dec. 4 after Tigard police officers followed the duo as they racked up charges at Nordstrom, Macy's and Apple stores in Portland and Tigard....

Zou was arrested near Southwest 10th Avenue and Taylor Street in downtown Portland after being stopped by a Tigard police sergeant, while Zhao ran from the scene....

Zou and Zhao were both booked into the Washington County Jail on identity theft and theft charges.

ICE HOLDS - Yu Zou and Shenghua Zhao

Read more about identity theft and a shopping spree.
 

Gloss is for lips - not for politics

If it weren't so infuriating it might even make me laugh. It's the regular practice of "glossing over" the facts to make the case for wrong doing.

A recent case in point is the announcement by Oregon Association of Nurseries of their favorite six legislators who have helped them to game the system even further and all at the tax-payer's expense.

The six include three Republicans and three Democrats. They are Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), U.S. Rep Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon Fifth District), Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Pendleton), State Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), and State Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario). These six elected officials took an oath of office to uphold the laws of the state and federal government. But, we'll gloss over that for now.

It's no secret that OAN is big business here in Oregon. It is clearly no secret, even to the casual observer, that OAN is apparently heavily invested in the use of an illegal work force. Hence their prominent position and support of SB 833 - the new law giving state issued ID in the form of driver privilege cards to illegal aliens. But, we'll gloss over that for now, too.

What is the real cost to Oregon's citizens, businesses and taxpayers?

An example:

One young man comes to Oregon illegally to work. He brings with him not only his pregnant wife and 3 children but the mind set that it's alright to break our immigration laws to come here and work.  After all, we're going to give him a driver privilege card so it must be ok - right?

The nursery business gets the benefit of the one (cheap) illegal worker which may even be using a stolen identity (perhaps yours) to get hired. Or, the employer may knowingly hire an illegal worker making it easier for them to exploit or cheat him or even pay him under the table avoiding costly employer tax contributions. But, we'll gloss over that for now. as well.

The taxpayer, however, foots the bill for the rest of his family to the tune of one billion dollars in 2012 according to a recent report by FAIR. The children will be enrolled in public school (most likely in an expensive ELL program). And, once the baby is born (often referred to as an anchor baby) and at taxpayer expense, then the real bonanza begins. Benefits begin to flood to the family and they are now living on easy street compared to life in their home country. But, we'll gloss over that for now, too.

Actions by many in our state government send a loud and clear message that this is OK - Oregonians must want this kind of business model here in our state because we keep re-electing the people who pass this kind of legislation -right? 

Businesses will lie, cheat, game the system and make a boatload of money on the backs of hard working, tax paying, honest citizens and even the unemployed get screwed while they pull it off.  Our Legislature supports this - it's the American way, right?  But, let's gloss over that, while we're at it.

It all makes me sick!  I'm ashamed of our Governor and the Legislators that support SB 833. I'm sick of our elected officials working to make life easier for people willfully breaking our laws and businesses that capitalize on weak enforcement of our employment laws. I'm sick of government officials picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore for their own benefit. I'm sick of our elected officials GLOSSING OVER the hard facts in order to make life easier for people in our country illegally, all while thumbing their noses at honest, hardworking citizens.

I refuse to gloss over the facts about SB 833 and the real truth about giving driver cards to illegal aliens. I'm proud to be the Authorized Agent of Protect Oregon Driver Licenses and will work hard to get this insidious legislation overturned when it's on the ballot in November 2014. Let Oregon voters decide!

OAN recognizes six public officials as 'Friends of Nurseries'

November 7, 2013, Wilsonville, Ore. -- The Oregon Association of Nurseries will recognize six Oregon elected officials as "Friends of Nurseries" at its 2013 Convention, to be held Friday at The Oregon Garden resort in Silverton, Ore.

The six include three Republicans and three Democrats. They are Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), U.S. Rep Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon Fifth District), Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Pendleton), State Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), and State Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario).

"The Oregon nursery industry is the largest single segment in Oregon agriculture, with $745 million in sales in the most recent year that was tracked," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "Our association is more than 800 businesses strong, and all of them make a positive difference in Oregon's economy. That's why we wanted to give these public officials some much-deserved recognition. All of them have shown positive leadership, ensuring that Oregon remains a great place for nurseries to do business."

Gov. Kitzhaber was recognized for taking the lead on creating a new water supply fund for irrigation, natural resource protection and other uses. He was also recognized for putting together a task force that led to creation and passage of a four-year driver's card bill. Finally, Kitzhaber has maintained critical natural resource and extension funding at the state level, which the industry relies on for sharing knowledge and managing pest and disease threats.

Rep. Schrader has been consistent ally on the Farm Bill and comprehensive immigration reform. He has secured funding for research and pest and disease issues, and successfully pushed the USDA to rescind a discriminatory order that denied Oregon growers equal marketplace access. Schrader is currently serving on a House-Senate conference committee regarding the federal Farm Bill.

Speaker Kotek provided critical support so that the water supply bill and driver's card bill could move forward.

Sen. Hansell was a key figure in the passage of the water supply bill and also sponsored the driver's card bill.

Sen. Thomsen also sponsored the driver's card bill and provided critical support to help get it passed.

Rep. Bentz helped put together a compromise that moved the water supply bill forward when few thought it could pass. It ended up passing with just one dissenting vote between the two legislative chambers.

The awards will be announced at Friday's convention. At that convention, outgoing OAN President Carson Lord of Tree Frog Nursery (Silverton, Ore.) will pass the gavel to President-Elect Matt Gold, who will assume office. Gold and a 23-member board will guide the association's direction and priorities for 2014.

The Oregon Association of Nurseries, based in Wilsonville, represents more than 800 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Nursery products are the biggest sector in Oregon agriculture, with annual sales of $745 million in 2012. Oregon's nursery industry is a traded sector; nearly 75 percent of Oregon-grown nursery plants are shipped out of state. To learn more, visit www.oan.org or call 503-682-5089.

 

A scheme to get driver’s licenses and IDs for illegal immigrants, hatched in the Va. DMV

Jose Calderon lined up the customers, charging them a few thousand bucks for the promise of authentic state IDs despite their illegal residency in the United States. Maria Cavallaro gave them what they sought, using her position at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to procure driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and identification cards for those she knew were not eligible for them.

Together, court filings show, the pair helped obtain documents for as many as 300 people — most of them illegal immigrants — and netted tens of thousands of dollars for themselves. On Wednesday, Cavallaro, 45, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and Calderon, 42, of Sterling, pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy charge. Cavallaro’s attorney said afterward that his client felt sympathy for people unable to renew their driver’s licenses because of a law change in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“She felt sorry for people,” said Neal Olesker, her attorney.

The pleas in a near-empty federal district courtroom in Alexandria mark the first time someone has accepted responsibility in the far-reaching conspiracy, which ran from 2007 into 2011. But it does not mark the end of the case. Calderon’s wife, Noemi Barboza, is scheduled to appear at a plea hearing Thursday, and court documents list an unnamed person who seems to have participated in the scheme but has not yet been charged.

The issue of whether to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants is increasingly being debated in state legislatures.

This year, Maryland passed a measure to create a sort of second-class driver’s license, which applicants could obtain without proof of lawful status, and the D.C. Council passed similar legislation Tuesday. Virginia, though, requires that one prove legal presence in the United States.

Calderon told a federal judge Wednesday that the scheme was “my idea,” but that it ran through Cavallaro, a former customer service representative and senior generalist at DMV customer service centers in Chantilly, Alexandria and Fairfax’s Fair Oaks Mall. According to court filings, Cavallaro would process and approve applications of those wanting driver’s licenses, learner’s permits or identification cards even though she knew the applicants could not prove legal presence in the United States.

Calderon, according to the filings, found the applicants and sometimes filled out the applications for them. Charging $2,000, $2,500 or $3,000 per person, he and Cavallaro netted at least $120,000 to split between them, court filings show. Calderon admitted that he brokered transactions for about 100 ineligible applicants, and Cavallaro admitted that another person sent her more than 200 ineligible applicants for illegal processing, court filings show.

A DMV spokeswoman said Cavallaro worked for the agency from 2005 to 2011 and referred other questions to the FBI. According to court records, Cavallaro was fired from the DMV in May 2011.

The DMV has had intermittent problems with employees selling driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants throughout the years.

The manager at a DMV office at Springfield Mall pleaded guilty in one such case in 2005.

Cavallaro faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, and Calderon faces a maximum of five. Both are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 31.

 

Salem Man Says Illegal Alien Prison Data is Worth a Look

SALEM -- Every month for the past four years, David Cross has been sending emails to Oregon sheriffs, lawmakers and the media.

In his spare time, Cross collects information documenting the financial impact of foreign nationals in Oregon prisons and jails. He says all his data comes from reputable sources.

Cross says the latest figures show 8% of the state's prison population is made up of people who are in the country illegally and have committed crimes here.

He says the federal government does not fully reimburse the state for all costs. Cross says his research shows the annual cost to Oregon taxpayers is $36,000,000.

Not all the people who receive emails from Cross take time to read them. Still, he feels that even just one voice can make a difference.

NOTE:  Read David's jail reports and much more.

 

Return filled referendum petition signature sheets by Sept. 27

Alert date: 
2013-09-16
Alert body: 

Volunteers have been working hard to collect the 58,142 signatures Protect Oregon Driver Licenses needs to get SB 833 on the ballot next fall.

If you have filled signature sheets, please sign them and send them in by Friday, Sept. 27 so we can begin processing them before the Secretary of State's deadline of Friday, October 4th.

Please continue to collect signatures up until the deadline.  We need all the signatures we can get.

But, please send in now, any filled sheets you have accumulated so far.

Thank you for all your hard work, your time and dedication to get the job done!  We can't do it without you!

A happy outcome is just around the corner, if we all keep working up until the deadline.

 

 

 


 

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