Articles Posted in Immigration Fraud

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Deirdre M. Daly announced that a 52 year old resident of Stamford, Connecticut and a citizen of the Republic of Georgia pleaded guilty in Hartford, Connecticut federal court to engaging in an immigration fraud scheme involving fraudulent marriages.

The Defendant pleaded guilty to running an immigration fraud scheme where he set up fraudulent marriages for 50 to 60 European citizens. As part of the scheme, the Europeans paid the Defendant between $12,000 and $16,000, and he then would arrange for fraudulent marriages between the foreigners and U.S. citizens in order to obtain immigration benefits for the foreigners. The U.S. citizens were paid to enter into the sham marriages, according to U.S. Attorney Daly.

The Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of making a false swearing in an immigration matter, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison. He will be sentenced on October 27, 2017 and has released on a $75,000 bond pending sentencing.

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a fraud alert! DHS OIG is warning the public that the scam is using their DHS OIG hotline number. These scammers identify themselves as U.S. Immigration employees and have altered their caller ID to show the real DHS OIG hotline (1-800-323-8603) which is not the number or location that they are calling from. They tell the individual that they are a victim of ID theft and demand personally information.

If a Scammer Calls You

If you receive a call demanding personal information or payment, hang up immediatelyIf you want to verify whether a call is from USCIS, you may:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have invited Stakeholders, and anyone affected by the organization, to a teleconference on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 between 2:00pm to 3:30pm (EST). The content of the teleconference will be how to protect yourself and your community from immigration scams and will include a Q&A at the end of the discussion.

This is USCIS’s way of supporting National Consumer Protection Week and will include updates on their Avoid Scams Initiative.

Event Information:

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced his Temporary Plans to fix our broken immigration system.

The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.

As an Immigration Attorney, I see the results of our broken system every day and in the absence of Congressional action, the President had to act. While a lot of the details are still waiting to be filled in, we know that many of these changes will make a real impact. We are aware that these initiatives are not going to help everyone, as not everyone will be eligible. Therefore, we need to continue to pressure Congress into finishing the job by passing a bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

On July 23, 2014, a 32 year old Jamaican national, Nerene Erica Harrison was convicted in Federal Court (Tampa, FL) of Marriage Fraud under U.S. Immigration Law. Robert Kenneth Scott Cruz, a U.S. citizen who pleaded guilty of the same charge, was paid $6,000 to marry her after her temporary work visa expired. They were married in August of 2011 and Harrison applied to be a lawful permanent resident based on that marriage. Both Harrison and Cruz face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. Harrison will be sentenced on October 23, 2014 and Cruz will be sentenced on November 11, 2014.

Susan L. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Tampa, FL stated, “Every marriage fraud scheme corrupts the integrity and fairness of our nation’s immigration system”.

Source of Information:

An Elizabeth, NJ woman, Maritza Chavez, advertised herself to the general public as an Immigration Lawyer. Chavez created a company to help immigrants obtain U.S. citizenship. After a thorough investigation, it was made clear that Chavez was not a Lawyer and her company only helped her to take money from her immigrant customers.

In the course of her business, Chavez would submit citizenship applications with the USCIS that were improperly completed, and/or were filed without the required filing fee. When the applications were rejected and ultimately returned to her with a refund, Chavez would illegally keep the money. When clients called Chavez for an update, she would blatantly lie to them.

As part of a plea agreement, Chavez could be sentenced up to 10 years and required to pay over $100,000 in restitution. Chavez will be sentenced by Judge Robert Mega, NJ Superior Court on March 14, 2014. For more details please review the news articles listed below.