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Manhattan Man Charged In Green Card Scheme

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NEW YORK  (WCBS 880) — A New York City man has been charged with stealing more than $24,000 from Dominican immigrants by posing as a Federal Immigration Agent.

Prosecutors said 28-year-old Raphael Masso worked out of his apartment in Washington Heights telling victims he could solve their immigration troubles.

Masso also carried a gun, handcuffs and what appeared to be a federal shield, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.

LISTEN: WCBS 880 Reporter Irene Cornell reports

Prosecutors said Masso had his victims fill out what looked like official paperwork, promised them green cards, took their money and fled to Puerto Rico.

Masso was arrested in Puerto Rico on an unrelated theft charge and brought back to New York, where he was being held on the charge that he stole $24,000 from three clients.

The victims trusted Masso so completely to expedite their green cards that they invited him to their homes for dinner, prosecutors said.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. suspected there were many more victims and is asking them to come forward.