East Providence woman accused of illegally aiding musicians coming from South America
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — An East Providence woman is accused of visa fraud and identify theft after trying to bring musicians from South America to Rhode Island.
United States Attorney Zachary Cunha said Yaneth Yanitza Caicedo Grandos, who runs “Tu Voz Es Musica” from her home, arranged to get eight Colombian Vallenato musicians work visas to come to the United States to work in the performing arts business.
Caicedo Grandos “created and provided false itinerary information on work visa applications submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services” on behalf of each musician, read court documents.
However, Cunha said there were several discrepancies with the visa applications, including similar looking signatures on six contracts with five different venues.
“It is alleged that venue managers/owners whose names and signatures appear on the contracts did not authorize nor endorse the information,” said Cunha.
He added that the owners of the venues said the Vallenato musicians did not perform and weren’t scheduled to perform at their establishments.
Caicedo Grandos was also accused of forcing the Colombian musicians to sleep on the floor of an apartment they were evicted from, trying to confiscate their passports, and threatening them with immigration consequences.
She was charged with visa fraud and aggravated identity theft and was released on unsecured bond.
Cunha said work visas for the Vallenato musicians have been revoked by the U.S. Department of State.