Texas man accused of masterminding robbery hoax for illegal immigrants to gain visas as victims of violent crime charged with murder of accomplice

William Winfrey, 30, was arrested on April 3 and has been charged with murder over the death of his accomplice Rasshauud Scott, 22, who was fatally shot in a scheme gone wrong.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
An individual has been charged with murder after allegedly staging an elaborate robbery scheme to obtain work visa immigration documents, which resulted in his accomplice being shot and killed in Houston, Texas.

William Winfrey, 30, was arrested on April 3 and has been charged with murder over the death of his accomplice Rasshauud Scott, 22, who was fatally shot in a robbery scheme gone wrong, according to Houston Police.

Police said Winfrey, Scott, and the victims were masterminds behind a scheme where the pair would rob the so-called victims in order for them to obtain U-visas, which would allow them to qualify for US work permits. This is due to US immigration laws that allow victims of certain crimes to obtain work visa documents if they suffered from said crime.

Surveillance footage from the gas station captured Scott going up to a couple's vehicle that was parked at the pump and then robbing them, ABC 13 reports. Scott was then shot by a bystander who was not a part of the scheme while he attempted to run away after robbing the "victims," the video shows.

Investigators said they discovered several text messages on Winfrey's phone that indicated he was involved in the planning process of the scheme alongside Scott and the victims, in addition to other multiple staged robberies last year which resulted in the victims obtaining work visas.

Houston police said that they believe the individual who shot and killed Scott had no part in the scheme and was questioned and released.

The incident occurred at a northwest Houston gas station located on Ella Blvd on Jan. 27. Winfrey is currently being held in jail and was denied bond.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office said the investigation will be presented to a grand jury.
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