Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Couple accused of conning illegal immigrants

DADE CITY — Two illegal immigrants who had been bullied and swindled into silence stepped out from the shadows Friday, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

And by doing so, they revealed they weren't the only victims.

The report says that Eugenio Riviera, 38, and his wife, Starann, 28, offered to help the two immigrants, Alicia Gonzalez and Horacio Candido, in obtaining their driver's licenses. The Rivieras had them sign some papers before leaving, which neither victim could read or understand. Though fraudulent, the papers said the victims gave the Rivieras power of attorney.

Investigators say the couple then drove the illegal immigrants to New Mexico, where both failed the driver's license tests.

Upon returning to Pasco County, Eugenio Riviera told the victims they had to pay $500 and give him their car. He told them that he had power of attorney and that he was a highway patrol officer and that "he had connections to turn them in for being illegal aliens in the U.S.," the report says.

Without consent, deputies say, the Rivieras used the victim's personal identification to open bank accounts and obtain credit. The victims tried to get the Rivieras out of their lives, the report said, but the Rivieras had their immigration papers and would not return them. The victims also said that they warned not to contacted police, the report said.

The victims told a friend about all of this and asked for help in getting their car back. The three of them then contacted the Sheriff's Office.

When deputies knocked on the Rivieras' door, Eugenio Riviera said he really did have power of attorney and produced the false documents, which deputies say he had made on his computer, with the U.S. Department of Justice seal as well as the seal for Pasco County.

When deputies searched the house, they found paperwork from more victims.

"Upon searching his one room, volumes of paperwork, including dozens of additional forged power of attorneys, were located, along with documents he used to obtain credit in the names of numerous people who have yet to be identified, checkbooks and fake identification cards," the report states.

Both Rivieras were arrested on charges of scheming to defraud and criminal use of personal information. They are being held in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail each. The Sheriff's Office is trying to identify all other victims.

The office also said that U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is conducting a federal investigation.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4609.

Couple accused of conning illegal immigrants 03/29/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 9:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.
  2. Police pull unconscious New Port Richey man from SUV in Cotee River

    Accidents

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Police rescued an unconscious driver whose sport utility vehicle plunged into the Cotee River on Saturday.

  3. Analysis: Bannon is out, but his agenda may live on

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — In his West Wing office, Stephen Bannon kept a chart listing trade actions — on China, steel and autos — that the Trump White House planned to roll out, week by week, through the fall. Now that Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has been pushed out, the question is whether his …

    Steve Bannon thinks he could be more effective influencing policy from outside the White House.
  4. Trump to skip Kennedy Center Honors awards program

    Politics

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Acknowledging that he has become a "political distraction," President Donald Trump has decided to skip the festivities surrounding the annual Kennedy Center Honors arts awards later this year, the White House announced Saturday amid the continuing fallout over Trump's stance on last weekend's …

  5. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times