Woman Scams Illegal Immigrants Out Of More Than $100,000, Report States

espinoza mugshot

WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) – A federal fugitive is behind bars in Washington County after authorities said she defrauded illegal immigrants out of more than $100,000 while promising to help them become American citizens.

Wendy Espinoza-Reconco, 31, was arrested July 18 and is being held in the Washington County Detention Center for federal authorities, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. A warrant was issued in federal court for Espinoza’s arrest the previous day, court documents show.

The suspect faces one count of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. Court documents state Espinoza contacted several families between 2011 and 2014, pretending to be in contact with a lawyer who could help them with the naturalization process to become American citizens. Several victims were from Springdale, court records show.

Espinoza obtained personal documents and money, including mail and wire transfers, from the victims in exchange for the promised services, according to a complain issued in federal court July 17.

One family lost $49,264 in the fraud scheme, with another losing $35,481, according to court documents. The documents state another family paid Espinoza $16,229 for unfulfilled services. Several other individuals lost hundreds of dollars.

“Espinoza routinely relied on strong spiritual influence in order to instill a false sense of security, which results in victims continuously depositing funds (in the suspect’s Bank of America account),” the federal complaint states.

Bank records show once deposits were made by victims into the suspect’s account, the money was immediately withdrawn, the complaint states.

Victims told federal investigators Espinoza had two accomplices in the scheme—a man calling himself “Jessie Gallo” and another who went by the name “Christopher Yang”. The federal complaint does not mention whether the names are aliases or whether the accomplices have also been detained in the case.

38 comments

  • Mark Smith

    What a despicable human being. To leverage the value of becoming a US citizen falsely and using faith as a tool is simply evil.

  • guest

    does anyone remember the days when northwest arkansas was so peaceful and laid back. i refuse to watch the news now at all.

    • FedUp

      I remember the days long ago when Northwest Arkansas was basically farm land. Today farm land is giving way to ‘progress’, a cancer on the lands if there ever was one. And, I cringe when I read that Northwest Arkansas doesn’t have a gang problem. What nonsense.

  • Get Real

    It is difficult to have sympathy for any of the parties involved. The woman should go to prison for her fraud, but the illegal aliens would not have lost their money had they come here legally. All of them are criminals.

      • Arnold Fudpucker

        You just don’t get it do you! People like you are leading the demise of this once great country through your failure to see what is right in front of you. Tell you what. why don’t you invite these illegals to stay at your home and then you can cover all their expenses. Or is someone else already covering yur???

      • susyisn2

        Mr please,if your not full blood Indian and speak their LANGUAGE. You cannot complain. I have never in my life seen the Indians complain about the illegal immigrants they are more humble than all of us put toguether and I bet all of you being hateful go to church and pretend you are good people huh?

  • JheamesT

    This proves these people will exploit their own kind. They are sneaky ruthless so called human beings. Even the legal naturalized Mexicans don’t want them here that are trying to be productive citizens. The influx of illegals are ruining this part of NWA.

  • susyisn2

    YEAH ALL OF YOU PEOPLE WHO DO DON’T WANT TO ASSIMILATE TO THE LANGUAGE AND ARE NOT FULL BLOOD INDIANS SHOULD GET DEPORTED,its only fair RIGHT? That means most of us should keep our mouths shut and learn a thing or two about AMERICA’S HISTORY

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      History doesn’t justify the present. Get real why don’t you. In your defense however I will admit that knowing what happened to the Native Americans should give us greater cause to fight this illegal invasion now. Thanks for helping the cause in a reverse sort of way.

    • Get Real

      Another newsflash susy, even the “indians” came here from somewhere else. You, and the other illegal aliens or bed-wetting liberals need to realize laws are laws, not just laws when you like them.

  • susyisn2

    So…..ALL OF YOU PEOPLE WHO DO DON’T WANT TO ASSIMILATE TO THE LANGUAGE AND ARE NOT FULL BLOOD INDIANS SHOULD GET DEPORTED,its only fair RIGHT? That means most of us should keep our mouths shut and learn a thing or two about AMERICA’S HISTORY

  • Mark Smith

    To all the bigots spouting above, your ignorance is sad and pathetic. Crack a book. Case and point again as to why Arkansas is 48th in the country in Education. Babies having Babies repeating the same old colloquialisms (look it up) passing judgement on others while they shout to the world “I’m an idiot and don’t even know it!” I’m just waiting for the old geezer to chime in and state that he knows people with 5th grade educations that are smarter than PHD’s – Absurdly stupid.

    As far as the Catholic Church goes, if you mean they are trying to do as Jesus and God has instructed us (not the scandels they have not adequately dealt with) then yes they are complicit. I should hope so! What faith points fingers, passes judgement, enslaves others and portends to be men and woman of God?

  • susyisn2

    Like I said before jheamest read and learn who invated who?in the first place if none of us had invated and taken over this country then the Indians would still be in charge and not pushed away in a small corner like they are now. Second of all you are the one that needs to get real what you arw basically saying in your response to me is lets fight so no one takes what we stole from the Indians,so you are not the shinniest tool in the shed are you?because in no way are my comments helping your winny little kid cause.

      • Offthepink

        No, they carry the same genetic markers as asians. They were not short and fat, and they tended toward lactose intolerance upon adolescence. Don’t believe that La Raza propaganda. Native americans came here from Asia via a land bridge called Beringia over 15,000 years ago.

  • Señorita

    I bet you all go to church don’t you? Bring it on hillybilly lol. It’s alarming to see how much racism there is here in NWA. So sad.

    • susyisn2

      SENORITA dont say hillbilly it might hurt jheamest and arnold fudpuckers feelings and they might think youre being racist or something.

      • Arnold Fudpucker

        If being truthful is how you describe racist then so be it in your eyes but you should look it up in a dictionary. Actually if you re-read all these comments, you are the racist one.

  • Señorita

    Hey i’m Mexican, i guess that makes me a criminal lol. I’m sure they won’t mind what I have to say ;) @SUSYISN2

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      I’ll try this again. You are Mexican that is good for you. If you are here illegally then leave. You have no right to address. You illegals come to this country expecting to take advantage of our generosity and good will. Then you gripe and complain about our culture and want to change our culture to suit you. When you come to this country, particularly illegally, you should expect to assimilate. If you like your culture so much then stay there!

    • Get Real

      If you’re here illegally, guess what? Not rocket science, you are a criminal. Go back where you came from, and wait in line. We already have enough parasites, welfare brood mares, and criminals.

  • ozarkat

    If you come here LEGALLY, who cares where you came from. Obey the laws, learn the language, be productive and try to fit in. If you snuck across the border—go home and apply the legal way. If you don’t like our laws—go home. If you don’t want to learn to communicate–go home. If you think you’re gonna live off the hard work of others already here, think again—and then go home. If you can’t manage these things, you’re not a good fit—go home.
    Supposedly, the reason you came here was for a better life. So, make something better of yourself. If you can’t do it the right way or if that’s too hard for you, well…..go home.

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