SAVANNAH AREA MCDONALD’S EMPLOYEES INDICTED ON CONSPIRACY TO SELL STOLEN IDENTITIES

The Federal government indicted Oscar Lazo, 51, a citizen of Peru; Eva Ramos, 35, a citizen of the United States; Mauricio Cruz, a citizen of Mexico; Manuel Cruz, a citizen of Mexico; and an unnamed defendant with conspiracy to sell the stolen identities of U.S. citizens. According to undercover investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE),the indictment alleges that beginning in July of 2010, Lazo and Ramos, both managers of a local McDonald’s restaurant, sold stolen identities to other prospective McDonald’s employees, including Mauricio Cruz and Manuel Cruz, who used the stolen identities to obtain employment with the restaurant. Lazo and Ramos were also charged with harboring illegal aliens. According to ICE, nine others were arrested administratively for being in violation of U.S. immigration law. If convicted on all counts, Lazo and Ramos face a maximum penalty of over 100 years in prison. If convicted on all the counts, Mauricio Cruz and Manuel Cruz face a maximum penalty of 37 years in prison. Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Lee is prosecuting the case for the United States. While the crime itself is awful (if committed), this is a small example of how the Georgia anti-immigrant bill that passed does not cover incidents where people knowingly break the law. Mandating E-Verify on the employers would not cure these situations when identities of real people – American workers – are used to gain employment.

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