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Seattle ICE attorney charged with stealing immigrants' identities

CNN logo CNN 2/14/2018 By Keith Allen, CNN
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The chief counsel for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Seattle field office was charged with stealing the identities of seven people who were involved in immigration proceedings, according to court documents.

Raphael A. Sanchez allegedly devised a plan to defraud several financial institutions by using their identities to obtain money and property over a four-year period between October 2013 to October 2017, according to the court documents filed Monday in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.

He allegedly used "personally identifying information of seven aliens in various stages of immigration proceedings... to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses," according to the document. He allegedly forwarded a copy of a Chinese passport and other personal information of an individual from his ICE email address to a Yahoo account, the document states.

Sanchez faces one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

A source familiar with the case told CNN's Laura Jarrett that Sanchez is no longer with the agency. CNN reached out to the ICE Western region office for comment and was told to refer questions to the Department of Justice.

His attorney, Cassandra Stamm, told CNN she is withholding comment on the matter until after Sanchez appears in court Thursday.

Sanchez will make his initial court appearance in US District Court in Seattle.

CNN's Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.

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