California Immigration Lawyer’s Fraud Scheme
According to a Department of Justice news release, an Immigration Lawyer in California plead guilty to widespread visa fraud. The attorney admitted to submitting at least 25 visa petitions to USCIS that contained false information. Examples of her fraudulent actions included using an alias as the petitioner’s employer contact, listing dead people as petitioner’s employees, using fake Social Security numbers, and submitting fake tax returns.
Consequently, the US government seized almost $300,000.000 of the attorney’s funds that she received for filing fraudulent petitions. The government also took her 2012 Ferrari California and her 2015 Volkswagen GTI.
The attorney plead guilty to one count of visa fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. After pleading guilty, she faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison on the visa fraud charge.
The same attorney was also mentioned in a case that concerned a distinguished soldier in the US army. The soldier was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for professional and exemplary service and a Good Conduct Medal for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity in active federal military service. The soldier’s application for naturalization was denied due to inaccurate information in his application. The inaccurate information originated from an E-2 Dependent visa application. The Government eventually agreed to naturalize the soldier.
Visa fraud is a serious crime and applicants should properly vet their immigration attorney before proceeding. For more information about reporting visa fraud and avoiding scams, please see the following link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/contact-us/reporting-fraud.html.