A northern New Jersey man who posed as a federal immigration officer to defraud people seeking legal status in the United States has been sentenced to 33 months in prison.

Andy Sacks, Getty Images

Federal prosecutors say 28-year-old Ruben Alvarado of Elizabeth also must pay $33,459 in restitution under the sentence imposed Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty to a complaint charging him with impersonation of a federal officer and identity fraud.

Prosecutors say the illegal acts occurred from September 2009 through May 2011 and then again earlier this year. They say Alvardo demanded and obtained money from his victims after promising to help them obtain legal -- or more permanent -- status in the United States.

Alvarado recruited victims in New Jersey through in-person contact and victims in Florida via Facebook.


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