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

High Rents Force ‘Prema Hair’ from 101 Stanton Street After its $12.9M Sale

No sooner did 101 Stanton Street change hands than this enormous, eye-grabbing leasing banner appear above the corner store. It seems rather apparent that the new owners now want the Prema Hair salon gone from the ground-floor retail. You’ll recall that a small consortium of real estate firms – Penn South Capital, Conway Capital, and […]

LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is Happening this Weekend

The 6th Annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is happening this weekend, and promises plenty of local entertainment and creative craftsmanship throughout more than 50 community gardens spread across Lower Manhattan. Just a few of the many highlights partaking in this year’s festival include fairy tale puppetry by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, a thought provoking look […]

Cafe Grumpy Reclaims Adjacent Store at 13 Essex Street for ‘Training Lab’

With Factory Tamal now up and running on Ludlow Street, its former location is back in the hands of its maker, so to speak. Cafe Grumpy just reclaimed the other half of its Essex Street coffee shop. We are told that the south store of 13 Essex Street – formerly the cafe’s on-premise bakery – […]

In What was American Apparel, ‘Dr Smood’ Health Eatery Debuts on East Houston

The doctor is now seeing patients. Customers, rather. Dr Smood, the health eatery that offers “smart food for a good mood,” opened the doors to its Lower East Side location this week. As you might expect, the new “organic boutique cafe” at the corner of Orchard and East Houston Streets carries with it an antiseptic […]

Another Look at the 7-Story Rental to Destroy 200-Year-Old Federal Row Houses on Grand Street

A row of historically significant Grand Street buildings is one step closer to demolition. Applications were filed with the city last week to erect the seven-story residential structure at 282-286 Grand Street. We first broke news of this development back in April. The property owner – former oncologist-cum-art dealer Marc Straus – has major plans […]

  • 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.