Indy woman gets 10 years for bilking immigrants

Keywords Attorneys / Immigration / Law

An Indianapolis woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing money from immigrants for green cards and other documents they never received.

Judith Palma was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to 17 felony counts of theft. Prosecutors alleged she stole more than $274,000 from about 170 immigrants who thought they were giving her down payments for green cards or other immigration documents.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said in a statement that Palma "took advantage of some of the most vulnerable and naïve individuals in our community."

Palma claimed she could help immigrants receive "papers," or green cards, and other immigration documents. Prosecutors say that after gaining their trust she required her victims to provide down payments for services she never provided.

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