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This image has been archived or removed.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This image has been archived or removed.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

Are We Really the Fairest Big City with a Mayor for the 1%? [Op-Ed]

The following editorial was written by David Tieu on behalf of Youth Against Displacement, a group formed by youth across the City who aim to stand up against the Mayor’s pro-developer agenda and protect our communities from displacement. Last week, New Yorkers were greeted with two new proposals from the de Blasio administration: a “municipal […]

‘The Forward’ Ceases Print Publication After 121 Years

The Forward will do so without its print edition. The 121-year-old Jewish-American publication, founded as the Yiddish language Jewish Daily Forward on the Lower East Side in 1897, suspended print operations this week and will refocus efforts toward its online verticals. As a result, forty percent of the staff was reportedly laid off, including editor-in-chief […]

RIP Lower East Side Man in White, ‘Jimmy Blanco’

It’s a sad day for the Lower East Side. Jimmy Becker, known colloquially as “Jimmy Blanco” for perennially roaming the streets dressed in all white, passed away this week after a battle with Lymphoma. It’s believed he was about 69 or 70. Apparently, a neighbor in his building called EMS a couple weeks ago after […]

Tictail Brick-and-Mortar Market on Orchard Street Goes Under

Tictail officially closed down its Lower East Side market last month. The former shop at 90 Orchard Street is now a vacancy with the token farewell letter on the door. This retail surrender follows just a short while after the Swedish startup’s high-profile acquisition by Shopify. As for what’s next, expect nightlife of some sort. […]

More on ‘Gouie New York’ Sake Bar at the Market Line

The team behind Itzakaya, Davelle, and Samurice is multiplying again on the Lower East Side. More specifically, joining the ever-swelling roster of the Market Line concourse at Essex Crossing. As previously reported, the entity is to be a Japanese sake bar called Gouie New York. And now we have some additional details, including sample menu […]