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

balvanera-opening
‘Balvanera’ Opens at 152 Stanton Street Tomorrow Night

With Azul Bistro now a footnote in the local history books, Balvanera is taking the torch of Argentinean cuisine at 152 Stanton Street. Paper curtains were summarily deposed from the windows of 152 Stanton last night. Balvanera – named for the neighborhood in Buenos Aires – is nearly there. We walked by the restaurant yesterday, and […]

Photo: Lambert Jack
Waka Waka Arcade Incubator Opens on Clinton Street with ‘Killer Queen’ Game

Our Muppet hero Fozzi Bear would likely get behind the latest retail occupant at 26 Clinton Street. As previously reported, Waka Waka is now open, and bringing with it a unique arcade-type experience to this address. But the concept is actually geared toward game developers. The centerpiece display in the otherwise empty store is “Killer […]

pauls-boutique-mural
This is the Completed Beastie Boys Tribute Mural to ‘Paul’s Boutique’

The “Beastie Boys Square” that wasn’t now has a rather loud visual. Wolfnights – descendant of the Paul’s Boutique-era bargain business establishment – donated its wall for a tribute to the trio. Street artist Danielle Mastrion spent the entirety of Saturday painting Mike D, MCA, and Ad Rock on the Ludlow facade of the restaurant. […]

pink-building-orchard-1
At the Pink Building on Orchard Street, It’s a Mass Exodus Ahead of Retail Upscaling

You wouldn’t know it during the filming sesh for Trainwreck last week, but there’s a seismic shift happening at the iconic. 321 Grand Street sold last summer for an unwieldy $27 million. Waterbridge Capital is the lucky owner, and now a year after its purchase, we’re starting to see the fallout. Plenty of changes, and more […]

East Village
Voices of the Lower East Side Talk of Its Struggle to Survive

The Lower East Side has been considered one of the eleven most endangered historic places since 2008. Truth. According to the National Trust of Historic Preservation: Few places in America can boast such a rich tapestry of history, culture and architecture as New York’s Lower East Side.  However, this legendary neighborhood—the first home for waves of […]

  • 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.