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    Convicted fraudster scams Irish undocumented

    By Noreen Bowden | May 31, 2007

    There has been substantial media coverage of the case of Ralph Cucciniello, who scammed millions of dollars from 200 undocumented immigrants. Mr Cucciniello posed as a lawyer working with Yale Immigration Law Clinic, and promised undocumented Irish immigrants that he would get them papers in return for a $5,000 fee.

    But Cucciniello was not a lawyer, and the Yale Immigration Law Clinic was a fictitious entity. The 545-year-old was a volunteer research assistant at the university, who had several prior fraud convictions. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1996 but never served the time because he was placed in the federal witness protection program. He has other fraud convictions dating back three decades.

    Many of his estimated 200 victims are reportedly afraid to come forward. His crimes were uncovered after one of them contacted Olwyn Triggs, an Irish private investigator who works in New York. Ms Triggs contacted police officials, who filed charges on May 2. Ms Triggs has been trying to convince victims to speak with the police, but many fear deportation.

    The story was broken by the Irish Voice in New York but achieved international prominence when it was reported in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune this week. RTÉ interviewed Irish Voice publisher Niall O’Dowd on the issue today.

    Topics: Latest News, US, US immigration reform | Comments Off on Convicted fraudster scams Irish undocumented

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