For Immigrants Scam Artist Begins
May 17, 2002
By Mauricio Ojeda
The trial for Adela Holzer, a Spanish citizen accused of committing
fraud against several immigrants, began yesterday. The immigrants
accuse Holzer of promising to expedite residency and citizenship
paperwork with the help of a supposed senator in Washington.
More than 20 people, the majority Latinos, paid Holzer to obtain
legitimate legal residence and citizenship status. Holzer charged
up to $3,000 which she claimed was to cover the expenses for the
paperwork. On a few occasions, she had even asked for additional
funds to cover travel expenses to visit with her supposed friend
in Washington. "She always said that this was the senator who was
going to grant us residency", said Pascual Diez, a victim who paid
the Spaniard for more than $5,000 to obtain resident status for
Izabela Dechnik, a Polish cleaning woman, gave Holzer $2,600, so
too did her boyfriend and three other acquaintances. Years later,
she would gain residency through her boyfriend's company, with a
fast track process and a penalty for having remained illegally in
the country which did not go beyond $1,000.
Holzer is accused of first degree fraud, third degree theft, criminal
possession of forged documents, and charges for transferring the
stolen money via Western Union to accounts in Spain.
The 73-year-old woman, has a previous criminal record for cheating
theatre producers out of $4 million. She served her sentence and
was released in 1993. Holzer, accused of stealing more than $50,000
from the immigrants, plead not guilty in a Manhattan court yesterday.
Translated from Spanish by Armando Reyes
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