Two Greenville men sentenced in scam extorting immigrants - FOX Carolina 21

Two Greenville men sentenced in scam extorting immigrants

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Michael Ruiz (Source: GPD) Michael Ruiz (Source: GPD)

Two Greenville men were sentenced to prison time on Wednesday after pleading guilty to an extortion scam.

According to U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, Michael Ruiz, 53, and James Mondell, 55, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in September. Drake stated that Ruiz also pleaded guilty to three counts of impersonating a United States Immigration Service official.

The charges stemmed from multiple incidents in which Ruiz posed as an immigration official and offered assistance to illegal immigrants for a fee. Drake stated the wire fraud charge stemmed from an incident involving multiple international phone calls.

Ruiz would use Mondell's presence to intimidate victims, Drake said. Drake also stated that Mondell was involved in the handling of payments from the victims. According to Drake, the victims lost an estimated $60,000. 

On Wednesday Drak announced Ruiz was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. He will have to pay $54,894 in restitution.

Mondell was sentenced to 5 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution.

Both received additional incarceration time due to having committed the crimes while on supervised release from previous crimes.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Police: Greenville man posed as immigration officer to extort $70K

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