SAO PAULO -- Authorities say they have dismantled a U.S. visa scam in Brazil that raked in about $53 million from 4,500 victims since 2002. Eleven suspects were arrested in four Brazilian states.
The U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo says the suspects victimized Brazilians seeking temporary U.S. work visas, charging up to $15,000 each.
A statement from the consulate says it was one of the large cases of U.S. visa fraud ever. Similar schemes were uncovered in Russia, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Romania and the United Arab Emirates.
The consulate said Monday that the investigation began in 2003. The statement did not say whether any victims received visas and the consulate did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
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