Immigration Fraud Investigation leads to Bust by FBI on East Broadway

Posted on: December 18th, 2012 at 3:06 pm by
This image has been archived or removed.

[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).

This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo: Denia Aponte]

Recent Stories

Police Chase, Shoot at Man Armed with 2 Knives on the Bowery

Police this morning shot at an alleged robbery suspect who resisted arrest and threatened officers with two knives. It began at 8:00am when police received the first call about an emotionally disturbed man who threatened a woman with a glass bottle outside 80 East Third Street, and attempted to steal money. He then fled south […]

The ‘Basic Necessities’ of Broome Street

Six months ago, Basic Necessities became part of Broome Street. Conceived by artist Michelle Repiso, the multimedia project tackles “three individuals and the mechanisms they used to sustain their humanity while incarcerated.” Now, with an Artist Corps Grant, Repiso is taking it one step further with community engagement. Tomorrow, the artist will be crowdsourcing participants’ […]

St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery Awarded Sacred Sites Grant of $35,000

One of the oldest houses of worship in the city will receive some much needed financial aid for their ongoing restoration endeavours. The New York Landmarks Conservancy has awarded St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery $35,000 through their Sacred Sites grant, a designation that administers monies to historic religious properties throughout the state. The church on East […]

Borough President Implores Parks Commissioner to Address Community Concerns in Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Two stabbings within a twelve-hour period last weekend highlighted the decrepit, yet dangerous state of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The violence apparently pushed Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to exert pressure on the Parks Department to address certain core issues. In a letter to Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff this week, Brewer identified two key concerns – […]

Loved Ones Crowdfunding for Grubhub Deliveryman Stabbed to Death on the LES

Loved ones have taken to online crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to help raise money for the Grubhub deliveryman stabbed to death in Sara D. Roosevelt Park last weekend. As reported, the incident transpired early Saturday morning near the Hester Playground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Surveillance footage shows that the attacker sat on the bench next […]