Immigration Fraud Investigation leads to Bust by FBI on East Broadway

Posted on: December 18th, 2012 at 3:06 pm by

[Photo: @Nore2NV]

According to the AP, the FBI says agents have made several arrests in an immigration fraud investigation in New York City. The arrests came as agents searched law offices in Chinatown on Tuesday. Federal prosecutors were expected to charge more than two dozen people, including immigration lawyers. The alleged fraud involved immigrants seeking asylum in the United States.

The schemes alleged in today’s Indictments involved the submission of hundreds of fraudulent asylum applications on behalf of Chinese aliens by law firms in the Chinatown area of Manhattan and Queens. The defendants – lawyers and employees at 10 different law firms and their co-conspirators – including translators who work at an asylum office, profited by creating and submitting asylum applications containing false stories of persecution purportedly suffered by alien applicants. The defendants who worked at the law firms also provided the asylum applicants with educational materials related to their fabricated claims and coached the applicants to lie in their interviews with immigration authorities.

To perpetuate these schemes, the law firms made up stories of persecution that often followed one of three fact patterns: (a) forced abortions performed pursuant to China’s family planning policy; (b) persecution based on the client’s belief in Christianity; or (c) political or ideological persecution, typically for membership in China’s Democratic Party or against followers of Falun Gong.

The full announcement can be found here.

The Lo-Down is reporting that FBI agents as well as NYPD officers were stationed outside 2 East Broadway (near Bowery) and 11 East Broadway, the HSBC building at Catherine Street, this afternoon.  A short time ago, a man was led from the building as agents continue to search offices (see lead photo).

[Photo: Denia Aponte]

Recent Stories

Unloading contraband, Photo: JJ
Reader Report: Chinatown Bus Route Includes Illicit Cigarette Drop-off

It’s no real secret that contraband (and violence) arrives aboard incoming Chinatown buses. Local media has widely reported the influx of weapons and criminals into the Lower East Side. Remember that it was only a year ago that authorities conducted the largest gun raid in NYC history, seizing 254 weapons that came here via these […]

170suffolk-conversion
Parking Lot at 170 Suffolk is Being Converted to Gallery and Residential Duplex

The mysterious garage-slash-scrapyard beside 170 Suffolk Street is presently undergoing massive change. For years, green brick and security gate warned of its nature as an “active driveway.” No longer. Property owner Michele Cohen filed permits with the Department of Buildings back in June to construct a two-story mixed-use building. The new structure will house “two […]

os-gemeos-bowery-revival
Hidden Os Gemeos Mural from 2009 Returns to the Bowery Graffiti Wall

Yesterday evening, the Bowery graffiti wall reverted to its circa 2009 state. Property owner Goldman Properties re-unveiled the Os Gemeos mural that has been obscured for the last five years. Scaffolding and blue tarps fell away to reveal that the color is still very much intact. The artwork of twins Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo will […]

113division
Anthony Monticello Wants to Open a Third Bar at Division and Orchard Street

With the Jarmulowsky Bank hotel just a couple short years away, the surrounding area continues to brim with nightlife. Newcomers include Cochinita Dos, Skal, and the imminent arrival of Pies and Thighs, Three Points, and Ludlow Inn. Now the hot eastern front of Division Street is ready for its third liquor license. According to application […]

Ben Shaoul, Photo: NY Post
Mayor de Blasio Signing Landlord Harassment Bill Into Law Today

City Council unanimously approved a bill last week that strengthens penalties for landlords guilty of harassing tenants. Momentum is with the little guy, it seems, as Mayor de Blasio will sign the bill into law later this afternoon with a public ceremony. As previously reported, maximum penalty for offenders is increased from $5,000 per residential […]

  • sammy

    ooh please, like you haven’t heard of other people dont pull scams like this.

  • LESider

    Sammy,

    Your English is so poor that I have no idea what you mean. Can you write your comment again?

  • JarekAF

    They should’ve just said they’re Cuban. They’re here now. Doing their Chinatown thing. Good for them.

    A sting like this takes a ton of resources. Good thing the FBI doesn’t have more important things to do.

  • unknown

    Finally, law enforcements are doing their job! They should have gotten rid of these scammers a long time ago!

  • s

    I wonder why the INS didn’t take care of this instead.

    Extremely relevant to this – “The Snakehead” by Patrick Keefe.

  • LESider

    Looks like Sammy and JarekAF support immigration fraud. If you read today’s NYTimes’ article on this case you’ll learn that most Chinese asylum cases are fraudulent and that 34% of all approved asylum cases are Chinese. So naming the nationality is important here. Great job FBI!

  • lee

    the uscis should revoke there grant on those lawyer office client who has been approve.they all are used fake story to get green card.