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Federal Official in O.C. Charged With Selling Fake Work Permits

September 29, 2004|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A U.S. immigration official based in Orange County has been arrested on suspicion of selling bogus employment authorizations to four Filipino immigrants, federal officials said Tuesday.

Renato Canita Gloria, 51, of Irvine was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 22 and charged with four counts of fraud and misuse of immigration documents. He was arrested Monday, and bail has been set at $25,000.

Gloria was ordered to appear in federal court Oct. 4 for his arraignment. If convicted on all counts, he could receive up to 40 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, Gloria -- an information officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Laguna Niguel -- allegedly used government documents to create counterfeit work permits.

"Basically they were acquaintances he'd run into at the market he used to frequent," said Thom Mrozak, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, which is prosecuting the case. "One of his jobs at immigration was to issue denials of these work permits."

Some of the four immigrants receiving the documents, Mrozak said, were in the United States illegally. He could not say how many. Others were in the country legally, but their visas did not allow employment.

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