Raphael Sanchez, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) former chief counsel in Seattle, has been charged with aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.
Prosecutors from the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section say the ICE lawyer had been stealing immigrants' personal information to defraud credit card companies such as American Express, Bank of America, Citibank, Discover, JPMorgan and Capital One between October 2013 and October 2017.
Cruz resigned on Monday.
According to the documents filed, Sanchez 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.”
In April 2016, Sanchez emailed a scanned copy of a Chinese national passport biographical information, along with his US permanent resident card and a utility bill, from his government email account to his personal Yahoo account.
Activist and organizations are warning that the ICE agency might be seeking to become an intelligence agency, which would give them greater access to databases of raw intelligence. This could lead to abuses regarding Trump's deportation politics but also abuses related to identity theft, activists say.
Jake Laperruque, from the watchdog Project on Government Oversight, has stated the ICE has shown more severe an arbitrary in its arrests and deportations, and that turning it into an intelligence agency would only enable actions like this to a much higher degree.
“It's really like taking someone who you're not comfortable giving like a kitchen knife to and handing them a grenade,” said Laperruque.
The court’s calendar showed that Sanchez is due to enter a plea Thursday.