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

8spring-yours-truly
‘Yours Truly’ Coffee Shop Opening This Week at 8 Spring Street

When the brown butcher paper arrived in the windows of 8 Spring Street back in January, it teased a simple handwritten message. “Something wonderful is coming.” That something is actually a miniscule coffee spot called Yours Truly. Yours Truly, in its own words, is “dedicated to coffee excellence and inspirational menu items.” The shoebox shop […]

orchard-houston-darkness
Ben Shaoul Paid $108M for the Bereket Development Site at Orchard and East Houston

A year and a half later, Ben Shaoul finally closed on the deal to acquire the southeast corner of Orchard and East Houston. We’ve known all along that the notorious Sledgehammer was developing the corner plot, but now it’s official. The Real Deal picks up our story scraps and reports that Shaoul, along with Real […]

mahfar-rally-1
Tenants and Advocates Publicly Lambast Samy Mahfar for Constant Harassment and Unsafe Living Conditions

In a high-profile move, embattled residents of Samy Mahfar (SMA Equities) properties queued yesterday in the rain to announce a new round of legal action. Indeed, now a total of four buildings are suing the notorious slumlord – 102 Norfolk, 113 Stanton, 22 Spring, and 210 Rivington. Here is a quick recap of what went […]

167 Orchard St., future home of Pizza Beach
Notes from CB3: Chinese Tuxedo for Doyers Denied Outright, Support for Pizza Beach in Hell Square, and More

For the SLA subcommittee of Community Board 3, last night was one marked by surprises. It saw the Lower East Side Dwellers supporting a new liquor license and established restaurateurs coming out against new liquor licenses. And notably absent from the panel was Ariel Palitz, who is no longer part of the rank-and-file. Here are […]

AMUZEEGYPT
Uncapped: Beneath the Paint with AMUZE

Time to check in on some local graffiti writers with our new “Uncapped” feature. Today let’s give a hearty Lower East Side welcome to Queens native, Amuze! BOWERY BOOGIE: Describe your ultimate mission. Amuze: As far as an ultimate mission…I got to be honest it’s more for personnel satisfaction…What I do is really for myself…if people […]

  • 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.