Three members of a Yorba Linda, California family were arrested by immigration authorities on suspicion of visa fraud. They ran an immigration consulting business.
The authorities believe the family may have been filing fraudulent marriage and work visa petitions for a price – sometimes as high as $60,000, federal officials told New York Criminal Lawyers. If convicted, the suspects could spend five years in federal prison.
The three, a man, his wife, and their daughter, were all named in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court. Their immigration consulting business catered mostly to Indian nationals. The business was searched around the time of the arrest. Manhattan and Bronx Lawyers handle many fraud cases like these.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement explained to New York Criminal Lawyers the family is accused of enlisting U.S. citizens and paying them $2,000 to marry their clients. Officials say the family would pose couples for photos, then have them open joint bank accounts, so the marriage would look real. They would then file a fraudulent immigrant visa petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
They would charge several different fees, such as $15,000 for a work visa, and as much as $60,000 for a visa based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen, immigration officials told New York Criminal Lawyers.
“America’s immigration system is not for sale and those who think they can game the system for personal gain will find there’s a high price to pay,” said a special ICE agent. “Visa fraud is a serious crime. Not only does it undermine the integrity of our legal immigration process and penalize those who abide by the law, it also poses a significant security vulnerability.”
The family had been under investigation since September of 2009 when officers with the Fraud Detection and National Security Division of USCIS in Santa Ana, California began to notice a great deal in common between 21 visa petitions traced back to the consulting company. Sometimes, the applicants used the same marriage certificates, divorce certificates, witnesses, or even the same U.S. citizen spouses.
The consulting company claimed to offer immigration services in places other than California, such as Georgia, New Jersey, and India.
When it comes down to it, the charges don’t really matter. Big or small, major or minor, you don’t want anyone defending you who isn’t a real New York Criminal Lawyer. Make sure your defense is as solid as possible – call a New York Criminal Lawyer today.