Bronx DA: Bronx Man Sentenced to Six to 12 Years in Prison for Scamming Undocumented Immigrant Couple out of $106,000



 Defendant Posed as Attorney, Taking Money to Get Citizenship Papers;

Threatened Victims with Deportation

         Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a man has been sentenced to six to 12 years in prison for defrauding a Bronx couple of more than $106,000 by posing as a lawyer who could provide the undocumented immigrants with citizenship. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution of the full amount.

District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant preyed on a hardworking, trusting married couple for five months by promising them green cards and extended Visas in exchange for more than $106,000 dollars. He passed himself off as a lawyer. He threatened to have them deported when they couldn’t come up with the money. We will not tolerate victimization of vulnerable people.”

District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Robert Byrd, AKA Saul Roberto, 67, was sentenced today by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary to six to 12 years in prison for second-degree Grand Larceny, two to four years for first-degree Scheme to Defraud, and one year for Practicing/Appearing as an Attorney-at-Law Without Being Admitted. All sentences are to run concurrently. The Judge also imposed a civil order of restitution for $106,603.21 and a permanent order of protection. A jury found the defendant guilty of the charges on July 29, 2019.

           According to the investigation, between August 22, 2015 and January 31, 2016, the defendant posed as a wealthy business man in the music production industry and as an attorney. He promised he would be the couple’s employee sponsor and get their visa.  As their alleged “sponsor” he made them believe he was providing them with all these services. The defendant never provided any documentation; instead he always told the victims there was a problem in the process and that he needed money to fix it. He threatened to call federal authorities and have them deported when they couldn’t pay him.

          The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Milanes, Supervising Assistant District Attorney in the Economic Crimes Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Garcia of the Economic Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Richard Kearney, Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Bureau, and William Zelenka, Chief of the Economic Crimes Bureau, and under the overall supervision of Tarek Rahman, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and Jean T. Walsh, Chief of the Investigations Division. District Attorney Clark thanked Bronx DA Detective Investigator Monisara Brahm and Trial Preparation Assistant Ayisola Johnson.

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