A Maryland man pleaded guilty to posing as an immigration officer as part of an alleged scheme to receive up to $1 million in immigration services, Capital News Service reports.
Authorities say Robert Fred Mejia, 29, of Germantown, Md., carried a gun and wore a bulletproof vest to impersonate an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer after accepting between $40,000 and $1 million for services from up to 250 people.
On Monday, Mejia pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Maryland to posing as an ICE officer.
Mejia and an accomplice used an office in Gaithersburg, Md., to dupe more than 50 people into paying them for immigration services they never provided, according to the plea agreement. Some of the victims reportedly paid more than $5,000 for services.
"It's relatively uncommon for us to find a case where someone's impersonating a federal agent," Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, said in a statement released to Capital News Service. "We have prosecuted quite a few immigration fraud cases where lawyers or paralegals have been engaged in schemes to defraud people who are seeking immigration benefits in the United States."