A Greenwood man faces extortion and theft charges after police say he took money from members of the Hispanic community to prepare taxes or other paperwork and never completed the work.
Police received information from the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Agency about tax fraud complaints in the Hispanic community over a seven-year period, said Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police.
About a dozen people told police they had paid Jose G. Oyola, 47, upwards of thousands of dollars for tax preparation, work visas, driver's licenses and Habitat for Humanity housing, Fournier said.
Oyola was coordinator of the English as a Second Language Program at Sussex Tech Adult Education in the evening and worked for the Woodbridge School District during the day, Fournier said.
Oyola told prospective ESL students that they had to pay him for a tax ID number for taxes before they could enroll in the ESL class.
"They were paying him and he just took their money," Fournier said.
In one instance, Fournier said, Oyola told a victim to stop coming to an English as a Second Language Program at Sussex Tech Adult Education or else Oyola threatened to contact immigration and have him deported.
Oyola was arrested April 18 on five counts of theft by false pretense and one count of extortion. He was released on $22,500 unsecured bond.
Police ask anyone with a similar experience with Oyola to call Cpl. George Camacho at 856-5850 ext. 324, 1-800-TIP-3333, text 274637 with keyword DSP or email www.tipsubmit.com.