By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

Juan Carlos Martinez Cecias Rodriguez, the owner of Mobile Coatings Management (MCM) and part owner and president of Uberwurx, and Karina Hernandez, a part owner of Texas Franchise and Business Consulting (TFBC), were arrested in Houston on criminal charges related to their alleged involvement in an E-2 visa fraud scheme.

Martinez marketed himself and Uberwurx as providing a mechanism for investors to gain E-2 visas, visas for foreign entrepreneurs allowing them to work in the U.S. based on a substantial investment in a bona fide enterprise.

Martinez worked with Hernandez to market and sell the Uberwurx franchise to Mexican national investors but failed to make many guaranteed payments to investors. Furthermore, MCM managed the Uberwurx franchises instead of the investors in violation of the E-2 visa requirements and instructed investors not to mention in their visa that MCM managed the franchises. From January 2017 to December 2021, Martinez and Hernandez perpetrated this scheme on at least 120 investors with a loss of more than $30 million.

Rodriguez and Hernandez are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and four counts of encouraging and inducing illegal immigration for private gain. If convicted, Rodriguez and Hernandez face up to 20 years in prison on each wire fraud counts and up to 10 years in prison on each of the encouraging illegal immigration counts.