A 53-year-old man received a 15-year sentence today for defrauding immigrant families to get their loved ones out of custody by posing as a law enforcement officer, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
Gregory Chavez's sentence will be served in county jail for 10 years, followed by five years of mandatory supervision. He also was ordered to pay nearly $550,000 in restitution.
Last month, Chavez pleaded no contest to 12 counts of grand theft, two counts of perjury and one count each of extortion, conspiracy and counterfeit seal.
Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba of the Consumer Protection Division prosecuted the case.
Dating back to September 2010, Chavez falsely promised he could help immigration detainees with their cases. Chavez, an unlicensed private investigator, often represented himself as a “special agent” who carried a badge and boasted about working with a team of law enforcement officers, the prosecutor said.
Chavez collected tens of thousands of dollars from immigrant detainees' families but failed to provide any services. None of the detainees were ever released as a result of Chavez's work, Torrealba said.
Case BA438365 was investigated by the District Attorney's Office's Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Los Angeles County District Attorney / Case BA438365 / July 28, 2017