Several convicted for amnesty fraud conspiracy
Friday, 14 December 2007

ATLANTA - Emma Gerald, 56, of Kennesaw, Georgia, Ruy Brasil Silva, 46, of Roswell, Georgia, Douglas Ross, 30, of Kennesaw, Georgia, and Hudson Araujo, 28, of Brockton, Massachusetts, were convicted today by a federal jury on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements related to a fraud scheme targeting illegal aliens, after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation.

"These people profited extensively by exploiting our nation's immigration system," said Ken Smith, Special Agent-in-Charge of ICE's office of Investigations in Atlanta. "It is especially troubling that these individuals abused their positions of trust to attract their clientele."

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "Today's verdict should serve as a warning to those who would file fraudulent applications with United States Immigration authorities. As was said in court, this is a case that began with a thousand lies, and the jury's verdict spoke the final word of truth."

"The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is very pleased with the return of guilty verdicts against these four defendants," said Martin D. Phanco, Inspector-in-Charge of the Atlanta Division. "This clearly demonstrates the hard work and commitment by the U.S. Postal Inspectors and other federal agencies when it comes to investigating crimes involving the fraudulent use of the U.S. Mail. We will continue to vigorously protect the American public from becoming victimized by those who are responsible for this type of criminal activity."

According to United States Attorney Nahmias, the charges and other information presented at the eleven-day trial, Emma Gerald, the pastor of a local church, held herself out as a consultant to aliens seeking amnesty in the United States. Gerald did business under the name "EJ Consulting Services." Under a program known as the "Catholic Social Services/LULAC/Newman Amnesty Programâ€