News Articles

Families Lose More Than 300K in Yonkers Immigration Scam


Photo Credit: Jhon David

by John-Mark de Palma

According to Yonkers Police, Juan Cedillo is accused of setting up an elaborate scheme to steal thousands of dollars from undocumented families in need of immigration assistance. So far, police have identified 42 families who gave Cedillo over $300,000 to expedite immigration applications, U-Visas and driver’s licenses.

Esmeralda Hoscoy, Agency Director for Catholic Charities Yonkers said that undocumented immigrants can receive free or low-cost assistance and consultations about immigration with accredited counselors. According to Ms. Hoscoy, staffers at the Catholic Charities of New York day laborer program reported that clients were receiving strange solicitations for meetings from Cedillio.

Using fake business cards alleging that he was a special justice agent, Cedillo charged families a $5,000 membership fee and another $3,000 application fee for his assistance. Police said Cedillo met with Yonkers families in their homes, local hotels and community rooms, traveling back and forth between Washington and New York. In a statement to News 12 Westchester, Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said, “Mr. Cedillo sold false promises and false hopes to a vulnerable subset of our population, scamming them out of their hard-earned money.”

Catholic Charities of New York provides these resources and free legal assistance immigrants via a toll-free help line (888) 744-7900 or via its website.

Resources:

Accessing Legal Help | Catholic Charities of New York

Free legal services for low-income, vulnerable immigrants | Catholic Charities Pro Bono Project

Welcoming and Integrating Immigrants and Refugees | Catholic Charities of New York

Related Content:

Yonkers P.D. Arrests Scam Artist Who Targeted Immigrants | Alice Kenny, Catholic Charities of New York

Immigration Scam Crushes American Dream for Dozens | News 12 Westchester

WNYC Reports Fewer Undocumented Immigrant Crime Victims Stepping Forward | John-Mark de Palma, Catholic Charites of New York