USCIS Discusses Large Scale Immigration Fraud Case

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On May 8, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a news alert titled “USCIS Efforts in Investigation of Large-Scale Immigration Fraud Leads to Sentencing” [PDF version].

The USCIS assisted in an investigation that led to two individuals being convicted for conspiracy, making false statements in immigration applications and petitions, and mail fraud. The two individuals, Rosa Cingari and Domenico Cingari, were sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison and 8 years and 1 month in federal prison, respectively.

Immigration Fraud

The USCIS details the evidence presented at trial:

  • Rosa and Domenico Cingari owned and operated R.E.P.C. Accounting and Translations out of their home in Florida;
  • They assisted illegal aliens in obtaining Florida drivers licenses by filing fraudulent immigration documents;
  • They filed Forms I-589 (Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal); I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative); and I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization): Most of these applications contained materially false information;
  • Rosa and Domenico Cingari filed these fraudulent immigration document in order to procure Forms I-797C, Notices of Action;
  • The Cingaris used their own mailing address on the fraudulent forms so that the receipt notices would be mailed to their home;
  • They then sold the Notices of Actions to alien clients, charging between $500 and $1,300 for each one;
  • They collected at least $740,880 from their clients during the fraud scheme.

Unfortunately, there are many individuals who endeavor to take advantage of the immigration laws through such immigration fraud schemes. In this case, the Cingaris took advantage of the fact that many aliens in the United States illegally seek benefits, such as drivers licenses. Unsurprisingly, they found many clients willing to subvert the immigration laws for a small fee.

An alien in the United States who wants to pursue immigration benefits should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Engaging in immigration fraud is not only illegal but may subject the individual to severe, and in many cases permanent, immigration and/or criminal consequences. It is always better to discuss the situation with an experienced and reputable attorney who understands the law and can provide a professional assessment of an individual's situation.

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