Man posed as immigration officer to run scam, police say


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A man is accused of posing as an immigration officer and scamming six victims of more than $70,000, according to Greenville police.

Greenville authorities say that after the agency joined a Homeland Security task force on human trafficking laws in late 2016, officer got tips about about possible victims of human trafficking.

The resulting investigation led officers to Michael Ruiz, authorities said.

Ruiz represented himself to people as an immigration officer and police officer who could help them with their legal status and get them legal documents in exchange for money, according to a report.

Police say Ruiz was introduced to his victims through word of mouth and extorted more than $70,000 from six victims.

Ruiz is currently being held in the Greenville County Detention Center without bond and is charged with the following offenses:

  • four counts of trafficking
  • four counts of blackmail or extortion
  • four counts of obtaining signature or property under false pretenses
  • four counts of fraudulently impersonating an officer to secure property
  • one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer
  • two counts of financial identity fraud
  • one count of alteration/sale of fictitious license
  • one count of conspiracy

Anyone who thinks Ruiz may have victimized them is asked to call the Greenville Police Department at (864) 271-5333.

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