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Former US Immigration Official Pleads Guilty of Identity Theft

FILE - Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, speaks at the White House in Washington, July 27, 2017. Homan said Feb. 15, 2018, that he was "appalled" by the actions of former ICE official Raphael Sanchez, who has pleaded guilty of identity theft.

A former immigration official pleaded guilty Thursday of stealing the identities of undocumented immigrants waiting for deportation to take out loans and open credit card accounts.

Raphael Sanchez was a chief counsel with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was responsible for deportation proceedings in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Sanchez was charged with using the names of seven undocumented immigrants set for deportation. He used the stolen identities to acquire credit cards and personal loans to purchase nearly $200,000 in goods and services.

Sanchez also claimed three undocumented immigrants as dependents on his tax returns, entitling him to deductions and other benefits.

"At the top of ICE's core values is integrity with an expectation that our employees adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional conduct," Acting Director Thomas Homan said Thursday.

Homan said he was "appalled" by Sanchez's crime.

Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced in May.