Local Couple Pleads Guilty to Ripping Off Illegal Immigrants

A San Antonio couple has pleaded guilty to posing as lawyers aides and as lawyers, entering illegal immigrant detention centers, and pocketing cash in exchange for promises to represent the immigrants in their detention hearings, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The feds say Jessia Alva, 37. and her husband, Eric Alva, 39, stole the names and State Bar of Texas identification numbers of two San Antonio attorneys, and forged letters fraudulently using the names of the lawyers, to gain access to two immigration detention facilities in Louisiana.

When in the facilities, the feds say the Alvas met with detailed immigrants and offered to have the attorney provie legal services for a fee, which the immigrants were told should be deposited in the Alva's bank account.

The indictment says neither defendant was working for the lawyers, who did not know their names and Bar Association numbers were being used in the scam.

The indictments don't say how much the Alvas allegedly milked the immigrants for.

At one point, the indictment claims Eric Alva actually claimed to be one of the San Antonio lawyers, and represented an immigrant during a telephonic detention hearing.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and identity theft, and could get five years in prison if convicted.

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