Charged with two felony counts in an indictment filed with the U.S. District Court, ICE’s “cream of the crop” attorney was stealing the identities of immigrants “in various stages of immigration proceedings,” so he could get credit cards, cash, and property in their names.
For a four year span under Obama’s watch, from October 2013 to October 2017, “Sanchez used the personal information of seven immigrants to try to defraud several financial institutions including American Express, Citibank, and Bank of America.”
He now faces one count each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, both of which are felonies.
He resigned from the Customs and Immigration Department as of Monday, about the same time the charging document was filed by the Justice Department.
The matter is being heard at the Federal Court covering Washington State’s Western District, where they call the charging document “an information.”
Prosecutors use a “Chinese national identified only as R.H.” as an example of the crimes Sanchez committed. The ICE lawyer stole R.H.’s name, birth date and Social Security number.
Stealing a move from Susan Rice’s playbook, “on April 18, 2016, Sanchez sent himself an email through his government account containing an image of a U.S. permanent resident card and the biographical page of a Chinese passport issued to R.H.”
He also sent himself “a Puget Sound Energy bill in R.H.’s name for service at an address in a Southern Seattle neighborhood with a large Asian population.”
R.H. was not the one paying to keep the lights on. “Property records list Raphael A. Sanchez as the owner of the address cited in the information.”
Sanchez is due to appear in front of a Judge for the standard plea hearing on Thursday. Court insiders explain that because the “information” document was filed, it generally means that the “defendant has waived indictment by a grand jury and intends to work out a plea agreement with prosecutors.”
With the Department of Justice coming under heavy fire in recent weeks over scandals involving top-ranked officials, the Public Integrity Section is hoping to counteract some of the bad publicity.
Under President Trump’s prodding, swamp draining efforts to weed out the corruption in the FBI and Dept. of Justice is well underway.
The section has been having a rough time trying to score points with the public lately as one after another of their cases has gone down in flames.
The New York Times writes, “the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Unit, which had suffered through an embarrassing string of losses and missteps involving prosecutions of high-level politicians like former senators Ted Stevens of Alaska and John Edwards of North Carolina, was eager to burnish its once-lofty reputation.”
The way they were going to do it was by sending Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) up the river on charges he “accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for lobbying.”
Five days after they fired up the legal machinery to retry the Senator after he wiggled away from a mistrial last November, Judge William Walls kicked their feet out from under them. “There is nothing there there,” the Judge wrote.
What the judge was referring to was the sketchy nature of the evidence Prosecutors were using to “prove that the senator, a Democrat, had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for lobbying on behalf of his co-defendant.”
The big problems were, “no key witness, no obvious quid pro quo.”
The defense had a field day. “If exchanging gifts between friends is a crime, then we’re all in trouble.”
Our Attorney General was still new on the job when he signed off on the decision to retry his former Senate co-worker. He had heard the rumors about the “underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.”
The big problem was that nobody had any proof that it ever happened. Instead, they decided to stick with something they could win. “Medicare billing and port security contracts.”
“I think that there was a little bit of zealousness in trying to find the next big fish in order to set things right reputationally about the public integrity section,” DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon relates. “I think that certain people were seeking some kind of big name that they could deliver a case all the way to a conviction.”
Menendez Defense lawyer, Gerald Krovatin, was glad the Judge threw out the core of the case against the Senator. “They had really criminalized a relationship. It had its seamy underside with the Melgen girlfriends, but it was kind of a bloodless case once Walls cut all the sex out of it.”