Southern Oregon men sentenced for immigration fraud scheme

MEDFORD, Ore. – Two southern Oregon men were sentenced for their parts in a statewide immigration fraud and money laundering scheme.

Court documents show 41-year-old Grants Pass resident Patrick Snyder and 54-year-old Medford resident Juvenal Vega Rodriquez used Snyder’s business, Immigration Solutions, to solicit immigrants seeking legal status in the United States.

The men would promise to secure their clients’ citizenship for a fee ranging between $5,000 and $10,000. Vega, who emigrated from Mexico and became a U.S. citizen in the 90s, recruited people at various local churches while specifically targeting Spanish-speaking individuals. Snyder was tagged as the leader of the operation targeting victims based on their race, national origin and ethnicity.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s southern Oregon district said Snyder and Vega told victims they were fully accredited representatives of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Snyder was a lawyer with connections to immigration officials. The pair even claimed Snyder was an immigration agent and a detective with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If anyone questioned the claims, they were threatened with deportation or other consequences. U.S District Attorney for the District of Oregon, Billy J. Williams, said the victims were perfect targets. “…They were desperate and fearful, and these defendants exploited that desperation and fear for their own greedy desires,” Williams commented.

The D.O.J. said more than 90 immigrants were defrauded out of more than $600,000 between 2009 and 2012.

On November 16, 2017, Snyder was sentenced to 75 months in prison and ordered to pay $637,190 in restitution. Vega was sentenced to 41 in prison and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution.

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