Citizenship scheme targets immigrants; Arizona man sentenced to more than 5 years in prison

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after conducting a citizenship scheme that targeted over 100 immigrants, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney General’s office.

Douglas Lee Thayer, 70, was found guilty of two counts of mail fraud and was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

According to the attorney general, Thayer operated U.S. Adult Adoption Services Inc. (USAAS) and promised U.S citizenship to at least 160 victims, in exchange for money in 2015 and 2016.

Thayer fraudulently represented to his clients that they would be adopted by U.S. citizens. This would supposedly allow the clients to obtain new birth certificates and, subsequently, obtain U.S. citizenship for themselves.

His business collected at least $7,000 per client, many of whom borrowed money to pay him.

In total, Thayer received at least $852,355 in payments, according to the release.

“This individual shamefully took advantage of trusting victims, who believed in the promise of U.S. citizenship, for his own financial gain,” said Spencer L. Evans Special Agent in Charge with the FBI.

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