FBI Impersonator Convicted of Defrauding California Immigrants


LOS ANGELES — A 44-year-old man has been convicted of impersonating an FBI agent and wire fraud after scamming immigrants in a California town, authorities said.

Ivan Isho, an Arizona resident, pretended to be an FBI agent between 2016 and 2017 and claimed that he could help Assyrians living in Ceres, in Northern California, get visas for their family members living outside the country, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California said in a release.

Isho showed his victims fake FBI credentials and a gun to shore up his story, federal prosecutors said. During a four-day trial last week, Isho claimed that he had the fake FBI credentials as part of a Halloween costume.

The Assyrians who were scammed paid Isho thousands of dollars through wire transfers and offered him copies of personal documents, according to court records.

Isho was never employed by the FBI, prosecutors said, and he did not have any ability to help obtain visas nor did he ever try to do so. He also left threatening and harassing voicemails for one female victim and her husband while posing as an FBI agent.

He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.