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

zc snap
Uncapped: Smith Houses and the Birth of ZC One

What’s up, everybody! Today on Uncapped, we have a child of the Zulu Nation (more on that below). Zulu Child aka ‘ZC One’ has come to us with the art and life of the The Dream Team (“TDT”) and growing up with graff and the greats such as Keith Haring. Let’s take it back to […]

pomme-seized-1
City Marshal Seizes Pomme Creperie on Ludlow Street

The unheralded crepe wars of Hell Square were suddenly neutralized yesterday. For the last couple years, the Pomme creperie squared off against the longstanding Creperie mini-chain across Ludlow Street. We rarely saw anyone grazing in there, but business persevered nevertheless. The end came yesterday evening. Pomme’s last communication occurred via Facebook at around 4pm. Shortly thereafter, […]

the-hunt-canal
‘The Hunt’ Antique Shop Opens at New Canal Street Location Next Week

Optimum Appliances relocated down the block a few years ago, leaving valuable retail real estate for the taking. Only, it didn’t actually happen that quickly. Quite the opposite; the former electronics store at 27 Canal Street remained vacant until this summer. As we first reported last month, upscale antique purveyor, The Hunt, is busy building […]

essex-market
That Essex Market ‘Street Seat’ Won’t be Happening this Year

Woes at Essex Street Market continue. The 75-year-old facility is still suffering from lack of foot traffic and an overall visibility problem, thanks in large part to confusion over Essex Crossing. (Site 2 will include real estate for the new market.) Initial messaging from developers seemed to weave a narrative that the market was closed. […]

joey-ramone-mural-bowery
Ramones Tribute Mural Goes up on the Bowery, Across from Former CBGB

August 16, 1974. A date that lives in infamy. It was then, forty-one years ago, that Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy took the stage at CBGB for the first time as the Ramones. Enter the Little Italy Street Art Project and the Loman Art Festival. The organization tapped street artists John “Crash” Matos and Solus […]

  • 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.