Fake Immigration Attorney Gets More Than 20 Years In Prison

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was sentenced Monday to 20 years and 9 months in federal prison for pretending to be an attorney and filing hundreds of fake immigration applications.

Elvis Harold Reyes, 56, was sentenced in Tampa federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in December to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, Reyes owned and operated EHR Ministries Inc. He portrayed himself as an immigration attorney, though he has never had a law license. Reyes targeted undocumented immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries who were seeking Florida driver licenses and work authorizations.

Reyes gave false, inaccurate and incomplete legal and immigration advice to victims in order to induce them to retain his services and those of EHR Ministries, prosecutors said. Reyes filed more than 215 fraudulent applications, with intended losses to victims exceeding $1 million. His victims’ actual losses exceeded $411,000.

Reyes spent the criminal proceeds on travel, luxury shopping, spas, jewelry and an allowance for his girlfriend, officials said.