Posted on June 1, 2012

Authorities Say Woman Posed as Agent, Preyed on Immigrants

Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2012

A woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of posing as a federal agent and taking tens of thousands of dollars from illegal immigrants to supposedly win them legal resident status.

Fourteen victims told investigators they paid between $4,000 and $8,000 each to Araceli Martinez, 47, who posed as an immigration and customs enforcement agent, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies went to Martinez’s home Thursday morning but found she had left within the hour to catch a flight to Mexico from Los Angeles International Airport, the department said.

Department authorities alerted LAX police, who detained Martinez and turned her over to deputies. {snip}