Several Indians and Indian- Americans have been indicted on charges of a U-Visa fraud and arranging fake marriages for the purpose of entering the US, authorities said.
Investigating authorities said these people would enter into a fraud marriage with the citizens of the US for the purpose of entering the country and then also fraudulently apply for a special category of U-visa which is normally given to victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement.
The indictment alleges that Simpson Lloyd Goodman, a licensed attorney, submitted fraudulent documents to US Citizenship and immigration Services for the purpose of obtaining U-Visas for other co-defendants.
The false documents submitted to USCIS included falsified police reports allegedly prepared by Officer Ivory Lee Harris of the Jackson Police Department. Other defendants engaged in and caused various acts which enabled defendants to attempt to obtain U-Visas from USCIS.
Those charged under U-Visa fraud are Sachin Girishkumar Patel, Tarunkumar Purushottambhai Patel, Simpson Lloyd Goodman, Ivory Lee Harris, Sanjay Rathilal Patel, Maheshkumar Mangaldas Patel, Ashaben Mukeshbhai Patel, Rajan Nareshkumar Patel, Gopaldas Khodabhai Patel, Sachin Khodidas Patel and Baldevbhai Ramabhai Patel.
In the 16 count marriage fraud indictment, it is alleged that they would enter into marriages between persons who were already citizens of the US solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration status to which the aliens would not otherwise be entitled.
"These marriages were not entered into because of mutual love and affection between the parties, but solely to create a legal status that would provide a basis for immigration status for the alien partner and usually for some economic benefit to the United States citizen," the Department of Justice said.
The individuals indicted under marriage fraud are Sachin Girishkumar Patel, Tarunkumar Purushottambhai Patel, Simpson Lloyd Goodman, Chirag Nilesh Patel, Dana Cheetara Adams, Brandy Nicole Edwards, Terilynn Rankin, Sejal Sanjay Kakadia, Jayantibhai Kalidas Chaudhari, Virendra Rambachan Rajput, and Javona Shanice Rajput.
"The defendants allegedly circumvented the laws and submitted fraudulent documents that are critical to obtaining immigration status," said US Attorney Gregory K Davis.
"These arrests were made as a result of the great work of our law enforcement partners who stopped 19 people who sought to undermine the integrity of our nation’s immigration system," he said.
The maximum penalties for the crimes charged in the indictments are: conspiracy to commit fraud and misuse of visa permits - five years in prison and USD 250,000 fine per count; fraud and misuse of Visa permits - 10 years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine per count; mail fraud - 20 years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine per count; and wire fraud – 20 years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine.