The U.S. Embassy in Brazil says four people have been arrested on suspicion of selling false documents to people seeking a US visa.
Embassy officials issued a press release Tuesday saying the investigation was done in cooperation with police in Santa Catarina state and federal law enforcement.
Alleged ring leader Jose de Oliveira was arrested Tuesday along with three others. The embassy says they had been falsifying documents since 2005. They allegedly charged about $3,000 for the documents needed for US or Canadian visas, and about $6,000 for false Brazilian or Italian passports.
About 70 people used the group's services to get US visas, according to the embassy, and some still live illegally in the United States.