A criminal complaint contends there are as many as 60 victims of the scheme involving 48-year-old Yolanda Hernandez de Arteaga. Authorities say a dozen of the victims are members of her family.
She was released on an unsecured bond after appearing in court Wednesday on a charge of wire fraud. She faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million.
The complaint says beginning in October 2010 Arteaga collected nearly $90,000 from the victims, some of whom worked at her restaurant. They were directed to give Arteaga birth certificates, travel papers and other documents.
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