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

Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams’ ‘Gimme Something Good’ Features A Bewitching Guest Star [VIDEO]

It’s been three years since Ryan Adams bestowed us the solid Ashes & Fire, but coming September 9, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter will issue his 14th studio album, a self-produced self-titled effort via Pax-Am/Blue Note. The first single “Gimme Something Good” is a moody electric number that’ll be a Ryan Adams classic no doubt. And […]

ship-graveyard-3_wm
Planks and Pitfalls: Journeying to the Abandoned Staten Island Ship Graveyard [PHOTOS]

Arthur Kill Road. “Kill” is actually Dutch for “creek,” yet the way the traffic careens around the road’s tight curves at breakneck speeds suggests a modern relevancy. It’s the first of many obstacles in uncovering Staten Island’s historical treasure – the Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard. Located on the western coast of the island, the “attraction” is a maritime marvel; a […]

juicery-essex-street
Juice Craze Hits Seward Park with ‘Juicery New York’ at 15 Essex

The over-priced juice craze is spreading like wildfire across the city. Brands like Juice Press and Liquiteria are making huge strides in the retail game. Kinda like what fro-yo was a few years ago. Anyway. Two months after we first reported on its arrival, Juicery New York is now serving its namesake products in Seward […]

sunshine-hotel-bowery-2014
Sunshine Hotel on the Bowery is Downsizing for Commercial Loft Conversion

The Sunshine Hotel, one of the last operational flophouses on the Bowery, is downsizing. The SRO, which straddles three contiguous buildings near Stanton Street, will lose a third of its footprint to office space. Looks like Sunshine owner Roseann Carone finally got her wish to liquidate 241 Bowery. Six years ago the Department of Housing […]

brannons-renovations
Brannon’s on Essex Closes for ‘Renovations’ After 10 Months

Another potential loss for Essex Street. The writing is on the wall door. Comfort eatery Brannon’s at 119 Essex is now closed for the requisite “renovations.” To those following at home, that excuse oftentimes translates to death watch. The branded social media arm is quiet, and emails to owner Ron Brannon have gone unanswered. Brannon’s opened […]

  • 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.