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Upland Man Accused of Running Immigration Services Scam Sentenced to 5 Years in Jail

An Upland man accused of running a fraudulent immigration services scheme has been sentenced to five years in jail, authorities announced Tuesday.

Augusto “Tito” Gonzalez De La Cruz, 58, entered no contest to seven felony counts of grand theft, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He admitted to a special allegation of loss of property worth more than 200,000, the agency said.

According to prosecutors, Gonzalez De La Cruz promised to expedite the processing of visas, green cards and citizenship petitions for 35 victims while pretending to be an immigration attorney between January 2006 and February 2018.

Charges filed in February named 15 of the victims, but another 20 came forward after a the District Attorney’s Office set up a hotline.

Most of the victims were from L.A. County, prosecutors said.

As part of a plea, Gonzalez De La Cruz’s five-year sentence in county jail will be followed by four years of mandatory supervision. He was also required to pay $404,000 in restitution to the victims, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Azusa police investigated the case.