SOUTH BEND — A Goshen man was found guilty on multiple counts of an indictment charging him with immigration fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail fraud this week in the Indiana Northern District Court.
Margarito Fuentes Reyes, 51, was one of five people charged in the indictment, which stated the defendants presented false information and forged documents.
The other defendants are Omar Duran Lagunes, 35; Luis Omar Montes Merino, 34; Yalitz Exclusa Borrero, 31; and Evelyn Riviera Borrero, 44, all of Indianapolis. The group operated from Indianapolis, Goshen and Elkhart.
According to the indictment, the group also made false representations to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Indiana Secretary of State, including making false representations regarding the identity of the actual owners of motor vehicles, to obtain motor vehicle registrations, license plates, and titles.
The charges were filed following an investigation by ICE, the Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The Elkhart Police Department, along with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indiana State Police and investigators from the Indiana BMV assisted in the investigation.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement that the defendants concealed, harbored and shielded from detection immigrants who are in the U.S. in violation of immigration laws and encouraged them to enter and remain in the country.
“These individuals abused legitimate government services and circumvented this nation’s immigration laws — all in the name of profit,” said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago. “Identity fraud affects all of us and has far-reaching implications. Today’s verdict demonstrates ICE’s resolve to work with our law enforcement partners to stop this type of criminal activity.”
The sentence will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.