Elk Grove Man Convicted in Massive Adult-Adoption Scheme

May 9, 2017 |   An Elk Grove man who perpetrated a massive adult-adoption scheme, was convicted in federal court in Sacramento t...



May 9, 2017 |  

An Elk Grove man who perpetrated a massive adult-adoption scheme, was convicted in federal court in Sacramento today on fraud charges.

Helaman Hansen, 64, of Elk Grove, was found guilty for operating an elaborate adult-adoption fraud scheme that targeted undocumented aliens. After an 11-day trial, Hansen was found guilty of 12 counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and two counts of encouraging and inducing illegal immigration for private financial gain.
As revealed in the trial, between October 2012 and January 2016, Hansen and others used various entities such as Americans Helping America (AHA) to sell membership in what he called a “Migration Program.” A central feature of the program was the fraudulent claim that immigrant adults could achieve U.S. citizenship by being legally adopted by an American citizen and completing a list of additional tasks. 
At first, membership were sold for an annual fee of $150, but that fee gradually grew and eventually was as high as $10,000. According to evidence presented at trial, although some victims completed the adoption stage of the “Migration Program,” not one person obtained citizenship. 
As early as October 2012, Hansen had been informed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that aliens adopted after their 16th birthdays could not obtain citizenship in the manner Hansen was promoting. Despite that notification, Hansen and others acting at his direction induced approximately 500 victims to pay more than $1 million to join the fraudulent program.
Sentencing is scheduled on August 3, 2017 by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. and faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of mail fraud and wire fraud. Additionally, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of encouraging and inducing illegal immigration for private financial gain.



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