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2 Houston Women Charged In Visa Fraud Medical Case

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HOUSTON (AP) — Prosecutors say two Houston women have been charged with luring workers from the Philippines with false claims of medical jobs in the U.S.

A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in Houston names 38-year-old Monica Castro and 54-year-old Blessilda Lagrone. Both were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

Investigators say Lagrone since September 2009 operated a Houston-based company that marketed itself as staffing group. Prosecutors say Lagrone and Castro allegedly lured immigrant workers from the Philippines with visa documents that falsely claimed employment with Texas hospitals.

Prosecutors say no work was waiting for some immigrants who even traveled to the U.S. anticipating arranged medical jobs.

Details weren’t immediately available Wednesday on the custody status of Castro and Lagron or attorneys for the pair.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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