Helaman Hansen, a charismatic Elk Grove businessman who defrauded 471 undocumented immigrants out of their savings by promising them they could be adopted into citizenship, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Thursday.
“He has hurt so many people, and even today he still believes he’s done what he could for these people,” said U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. “He really doesn’t get it. I believe the victims caught up in this scheme were very vulnerable and were trying their best to become citizens. As one victim said today, they were duped.”
England ordered Hansen to pay $576,264 in restitution to his victims. But after the sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorneys André M. Espinosa and Katherine T. Lydon told about half a dozen victims who had come to the sentencing that Hansen doesn’t have the money to pay the judgment.