BRIDGEVILLE, Del.- Delaware State Police have arrested a Greenwood man accused of extorting money from nearly two dozen members of the local Hispanic community over a seven-year span.
Jose G. Oyola, 47, is charged with felony extortion and five counts of theft by false pretense over $1,500, also felonies.
Authorities said Oyola's arrest stemmed from an investigation that got under way in 2010, as state police detectives and investigators from the Department of Justice – Consumer Protection Agency received information about numerous people from the Hispanic community who had been victims of tax fraud.
Police said that through countless interviews with the victims, it was revealed they had paid Oyola hundreds and thousands of dollars to have him complete their taxes prior to them entering the English as a Second Language program offered through Sussex Tech – Adult Education.
Investigators said that in some instances, Oyola even offered to help obtain work visas, driver's licenses, as well as assist in obtaining housing through Habitat for Humanity. But police said that in all cases, no transactions were ever fulfilled and the money was never returned to the victims. Police said that in one incident, Oyola told the victim to stop coming to the ESL program by threatening to go to immigration with personal information and threatening deportation.
Oyola was arrested on the aforementioned charges on Thursday, April 18, and released on $22,500 unsecured bond.
The investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone with information similar to these incidents to contact Master Cpl. George Camacho at (302) 856-5850, ext. 324, or by utilizing the DSP Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at: http://www.delaware.gov/apps/. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."