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Defendant: Juan Cedillo (DOB 04/05/55)

Nov. 13, 2019 – Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced that Juan Cedillo of Washington State was arraigned on an 87-count indictment for defrauding immigrants in Yonkers. He was arraigned before Westchester County Court Judge Anne Minihan Tuesday (11/12).

Specifically, the indictment charges Cedillo with:

  • 1 count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree: Intent to Defraud Ten or More Persons
  • 1 count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree: Obtain property greater than $1,000 from one or more persons
  • 85 counts of Immigrant Assistance Fraud in the First Degree-Obtain property of more than $1,000 by fraud.

The indictment states between November 2013 and February 2019, Juan Cedillo, defrauded 17 victims in Yonkers seeking immigrant assistance services.

DA Scarpino said, “No one should be able to take advantage of any community, especially those most vulnerable to crime. We will seek justice for anyone living in Westchester County no matter their immigration status. Immigrants should never be concerned about coming forward. Our Office is always here to help.”

Bail was set at $25,000 cash or bond. The next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 10, 2019.

Background
As a resident of Washington State, Juan Cedillo traveled to areas, including Westchester County, where immigrants live and targeted mainly the adults in families with a U.S.-born child or children, thereby U.S. citizens. Prosecutors allege, he claimed he could help needy immigrants obtain U-Visas and legal status for payment.

Cedillo would recruit families by word-of-mouth and direct them to join his fabricated “U.S. Counter Insurgents Association of Justice” for a $5,000 fee. During his meetings with families, he would tell them he was “better than” or “higher” than an immigration lawyer, claiming he had contacts at multiple government agencies, including at times the CIA, the FBI and The White House. He promised he would obtain U-Visas for them and guarantee them “Green Cards.”

During the process of creating falsified U-Visa applications, he would take further payments totaling approximately $3,000, obtaining a total of $8,000 from each victim.

In February, Cedillo was arrested by Yonkers Police following an investigation. The case was then presented to a Westchester County Grand Jury.

While Cedillo promised a path to citizenship, in fact, immigrants can apply only for U-Visas if they have been victims of crime. The District Attorney’s Office aids the U-Visa process by certifying a victim’s claim when they have been victims of crime in Westchester County.

Any resident, no matter their legal status, who want to report a crime or receive other assistance regarding potential criminal matters, is encouraged to call the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Help Line at (914) 995-1616 (translators will be made available) or email OIA@WestchesterDA.net. For more information, view or download our brochure about Immigrant Affairs in Spanish and English.

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Juan Cedillo

 In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Media contact:
media@westchesterda.net

(914) 995-3586

 

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