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DV Pilot police & fire

Con artist admits preying on immigrant dreams — and fears

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

She conned dozens of innocent immigrants out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by pretending she could help get them green cards and other important U.S. documents, then either gambled their money away in Atlantic City or used it to buy a BMW, several fur coats and shoes — and now she‘s going to federal prison.

When victims called, Rosa Blake, she  “threatened them, saying, among other things, that she had the power to have the victims deported at any time, even in the middle of the night, and that she was a dangerous person,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

Blake also said that she knew her victims’ personal information, where they lived and who their relatives were; and that they would never see their children again once they were deported.

What’s more, she said they “could not stop Blake from having them deported, nor report her to any
other government authority,” Fishman said.

During meetings often held at her home, the 55-year-old Hudson County resident admitted in a federal courtroom in Newark, she told the victims she could help them get legal American status by expediting their paperwork in exchange for cash.

Blake, a/k/a “Mafalda,” a/k/a ‘Rosa Vareiro,” even wore what appeared to be official government credentials around her neck, federal authorities said.

“She would sometimes show them official-looking papers with what appeared to be letterhead and
insignias of federal immigration authorities, which she would have them sign,” Fishman said.

However, he said, she wouldn’t let any of them keep or make copies of the papers. She told them all they’d receive their documents in the mail, then, “kept their money for personal use,” the U.S. attorney for New Jersey said.

Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Professional Responsibility Investigations East; ICE Homeland Security Investigations; and the IRS Criminal Investigations division with making the case, being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

All told, Blake pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of impersonation of a government official, and seven counts of money laundering.

U.S. District Judge William H. Walls set an Oct. 4 sentencing date.

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