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Jerome Woman Sentenced in Immigration Scam

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Magic Valley woman who ran an immigration scam that resulted in more than 50 victims has been sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison.

The Times-News reports that 40-year-old Celia Perez of Jerome received the sentence Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boise and must pay about $408,000 in restitution. A grand jury indicted Perez in October 2013 on 12 counts of mail fraud.

She agreed to a plea deal that resulted in 10 counts being dropped and guilty pleas to the remaining two charges. Authorities say Perez posed as an immigration attorney handling difficult cases. Five victims testified, one noting how he, his eight children and their spouses lost about $33,000. Perez apologized to the victims at the sentencing.

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