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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

city crime & courts bloomington

Bloomington pair lose nearly $14,000 to man allegedly posing as immigration lawyer

Crime Filler

Two Bloomington adults fear they were scammed out of about $13,800 by a Texas man claiming to be a lawyer who could help them obtain U.S. citizenship.  

A 39-year-old Venezuelan man and a 44-year-old Colombian woman visited the Bloomington Police Station on Sunday afternoon to report they had been defrauded. They told police the friend of a family member in Colombia connected them with a man from Texas, telling them he was a lawyer who helped people secure American citizenship.  

According to a Bloomington Police Department report, the two became suspicious when they sent thousands of dollars over Zelle, a digital payment network, but never received receipts — just more requests for money to allegedly cover various taxes and fees. They told police the Texas man showed them a document proving he was licensed to practice law in the United States but that it did not look right. The pair had been involved with the man claiming he could help them become citizens since June 2023, according to BPD. 

The suspect was arrested Jan. 7, a week before the two reported the alleged fraud to BPD, in El Paso, Texas on fraud charges not related to the Bloomington allegations.  

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