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Woman Accused Of Taking A Box Cutter To Several Illegal Immigrants In Elaborate Visa Fraud Scheme

Box Cutter. Shutterstock

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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  • Four illegal aliens living in Minnesota claimed in August that they were robbed and cut by two men, but police now say the claims were made up in order to obtain special visas. 
  • The four individuals paid a woman $5,000 for her instructions on how to fraud law enforcement into signing off on a U visa, which is reserved for victims of crimes and allows undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. 
  • Police allege the elaborate scheme was orchestrated by one woman, Yuridia Hernandez Linares, who was able to fraudulently obtain a U visa in 2016 by also claiming she was robbed at knifepoint. 

Four illegal aliens in Minnesota claimed they were stabbed and robbed while walking outside, but law enforcement now says the incidents were part of an orchestrated scam to obtain immigrant visas.

Yuridia Hernandez Linares, a 36-year-old woman living in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was arrested this month for allegedly masterminding a scheme to score U visas for several undocumented immigrants, according to the Star Tribune. The plot involved participants slashing themselves with box cutters in order to fool police.

A man and a woman reported to local police that, while they were walking through a trail on Aug. 20, two men came up to them wielding a knife. The man claimed that his wallet was stolen, while the woman said she was grabbed by the throat and her purse taken. Both of them claimed that they were cut with a knife.

Just days later on Aug. 30, two women claimed they were robbed while walking to a McDonald’s. According to their story, two men came up to them from behind, stole their purses, and cut them both before getting away.

visa Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

Visa. Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

The stories sounded very similar in nature and, according to Eden Prairie police, were both fabricated.

Hernandez Linares promised the four individuals — who are all living in the U.S. illegally — that they would be able to obtain visas if they followed her direction, police allege. She cut them using a box cutter or other sharp object, and instructed them to file a false police report. This process would allow them to apply for a U visa — a non-immigrant visa that is set aside for victims of crimes.

In exchange, the four participants paid Hernandez Linares a total of $5,000.

Investigators began to question the validity of the robberies after noticing the unique similarities in how the cuts were made to each of the victims.

“All the wounds were clean superficial cuts of approximately same length and each victim sustained only one injury. None of the wounds were puncture wounds,” according to the complaint filed against Hernandez Linares.

More notably, the two August robberies were extremely similar to an incident reported by Hernandez Linares herself several years ago. Hernandez Linares and a friend claimed in October 2015 that they were robbed at knifepoint by two men. She then requested a U visa in March 2016, which the police chief signed off on.

Phone records obtained by police show that the four participants in the August incidents communicated with Hernandez Linares before and after the alleged attacks.

A statement by Eden Prairie police on Tuesday declared that the two August robberies, and the one in October 2015, were staged. Hernandez Linares has since been charged with one count of felony theft by swindle, regarding the payments made by the victims to her, and she is being held at the Hennepin County jail. (RELATED: Conservative Activist Speaks Out After False Accusation From Illegal Immigrant)

The false report marks the latest example of foreign nationals scheming to obtain u visas. Earlier this month, two men allegedly stormed a restaurant and robbed it at gunpoint. Authorities later determined that the restaurant employees, customers, and robbers all orchestrated the burglary in order to obtain u visas.

Many immigration experts have questioned the U visa program entirely, pointing to its incentive for abuse by illegal aliens looking for an option remain in the U.S.

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