An Eden Prairie woman pleaded guilty to one count of theft by swindle for her connection to several false armed robbery reports, according to a news release from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman on Jan. 10.

Yuridia Hernandez Linares, 36, of Eden Prairie, pleaded guilty on Jan. 6 to planning to obtain visas for four undocumented people by faking armed robberies, the release says. A U visa can be issued to crime victims cooperating with an investigation and temporarily prevent deportation, according to a Hennepin County criminal complaint on the matter.

The four people paid Linares a total of $5,000, the complaint says. They all admitted to filing false police reports and told investigators they were afraid of Linares.

The robberies − which were reported to have occurred between Aug. 20 and Aug. 30 − had an unusual number of similarities, including to a reported armed robbery in October 2015, which spurred investigators to look into the reporters’ phone records, according to the Eden Prairie Police Department’s Oct. 9, 2019, statement and the criminal complaint.

On Nov. 19, 2019, Eden Prairie police released a statement saying investigators had concluded the crimes did not occur and Linares had been charged with felony theft by swindle. In her guilty plea, Linares agreed with the facts of the November complaint.

Linares will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 30, the release says. She is currently in custody.

Eden Teller is the multimedia reporter for Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about fostering productive conversations and empowering communities. When she's not reporting, she can be found reading a book, on a hike or tackling home improvement projects.

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