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

‘El Luchadore’ Opening Another Wrestling-Themed Taco Stand on Ludlow Street

Word on the street is that Hell Square will soon welcome a new Mexican snack joint to its ranks, taking the reins from a failed creperie. A year into operations down by the South Street Seaport, the popular taco stand El Luchador is reportedly opening a new location on the Lower East Side. Sources disclose that the restaurant, […]

Essex Crossing Forward Base is Established on Norfolk Street

The forward communications base for Essex Crossing is now up and running on Norfolk Street. As previously reported, the Lower East Side BID “donated” several of its parking spaces in Site 3 so that the developers could maintain offices near all the action. (This parcel is not part of Phase I development.) The new command […]

Puck Building Finally Turns on Its Illuminated Sidewalks Again

The historic Puck Building at East Houston and Lafayette Street is glowing in its new identity of luxury housing. Just look to the studded base of the building itself. Let there be light. In a surprising turn of events, that “distinctive sidewalk” (in design-speak) outside the city landmark was just illuminated for the first time in […]

Ongoing Grand Street Water Main Work Winds Down East of Allen

​The reality of Phase II has set in. Grand Street east of the Bowery is a total shitshow right now. Thanks to the ongoing work around installing a trunk water main beneath the roadway, the traffic patterns are changed, and businesses likely hurting. With the interlocking system of portable fencing and construction crew in tow, […]

No More Horses in Hell Square; Equestrian Brigade Headed Back to the Stable

No more horse shit. Seriously. If you have the displeasure of walking through Hell Square during prime party hours, seek refuge in the forthcoming change of the guard. Or, rather, removal. Almost five years trampled underfoot, and with piles of manure to boot (or step in), the 7th Precinct is finally ending the practice of late-night horse […]

  • sammy

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

  • LESider


    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.