Chris LaRiche, "Lothario Notario," deported to Mexico
The "Lothario Notario," Chris LaRiche, is Mexico's problem now.
LaRiche, a con man whose story we chronicled in a January feature, was deported to Mexico yesterday after he was sentenced in Hennepin County for stealing thousands of dollars from undocumented immigrants who trusted him with their lives.
LaRiche posed as a well-connected businessman who could help undocumented immigrants obtain legal status in the United States. But he wasn't who he claimed to be: LaRiche's real name is Mario Alberto Martinez-Alanis and he is from Mexico, despite telling numerous immigrants that he is an Argentinean-"European."
Martinez-Alanis set up an office in downtown Minneapolis last year and advertised his business services on Spanish-language radio.
When immigrants came to his office, Martinez-Alanis claimed to have a contact in the federal government.
Wayne and Greg Freeman say Martinez-Alanis slept in the office and abused the cleaning lady
That source, Martinez-Alanis claimed, would fix his client's legal statuses and help them obtain work permits.
Problem was, Martinez-Alanis didn't have connections in the federal government. He was a fraud. When immigrants inevitably realized this and demanded their money back, Martinez-Alanis threatened to report them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
Around town, Martinez-Alanis was ruthless, burning bridges everywhere he went.
After the radio station La Invasora confronted him about defrauding their listeners, Martinez told the sales representative, Karla Ortiz, that she was "a bad mother" and "that's why your baby is sick."
Silvia Sibri outed Martinez-Alanis as a scam artist
Martinez-Alanis lived at the Westin hotel until General Manager Mark Deinart kicked him out for sexually harassing hotel staff, according to a lawsuit Martinez-Alanis filed against Deinart (that lawsuit was dismissed).
He got himself in trouble with his landlords, Wayne and Greg Freeman, the father-and-son heads of Executive Suites of Minnesota, after the Freemans discovered that he was violating their lease agreement by living in an office they rented to him.
Not only was Martinez-Alanis sleeping in the office, snoring so loud the receptionist complained, he called the cleaning lady a "dog."
His biggest mistake came when he threatened a young woman, Silvia Sibri, who worked for him as a recruiter.
First, Martinez-Alanis sexually harassed her, according to Sibri, by asking if she had a boyfriend.
"How much do you want to leave your boyfriend?" LaRiche allegedly asked her. "$1,000? $2,000? $3,000 a month?"
David Wilson called ICE on Martinez-Alanis
Then Martinez-Alanis called the cops on her after she confronted him about the immigration scam he was running.
After that confrontation, Sibri turned to Minneapolis immigration attorney David Wilson for help. He called Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which was Martinez-Alanis's undoing.
ICE agents do not appreciate having their names used to intimidate immigrants, whether they're legal or not, so they began investigating Martinez-Alanis.
Ultimately, he was arrested for lying under oath during a bizarre hearing in a frivolous lawsuit he filed against Sibri.
Read the feature for the full details.
Martinez-Alanis pleaded guilty to theft by swindle a month ago and was sentenced last Friday to 13 months in prison, stayed. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victims who were willing to testify at trial, then turned over to ICE for removal. An immigration judge authorized his deportation this past January.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.