Queens Immigration Attorney Faces Federal Charges for Asylum Fraud

Eliza Grinberg's picture

On March 28, 2018, the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that it had charged Andreea Dumitru, an immigration attorney in Queens, New York, with asylum fraud and making false statements. The press release is titled “Queens Immigration Attorney Charged With Asylum Fraud” [PDF version]. You may read the indictment here: [PDF version].

The Indictment alleges that Dumitru participated in a scheme to file fraudulent Forms I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, in connection with applications for asylum she had filed on behalf of her clients between 2012 and 2017. During this time, Dumitru is alleged to have submitted over 180 asylum applications in which she knowingly made false statements and representations. These false statements and representations are alleged to include information about “the applicants' criminal histories, personal narratives of alleged persecution, and/or locations.” In each case, Dumitru certified the application as true and correct under penalty of perjury.

Dumirtu was charged with one count of asylum fraud, for which she faces 10 years' imprisonment. She was also charged with one count of making false statements, for which she faces 5 years' imprisonment.

The DOJ news release reminds readers that “[t]he charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”


As the DOJ noted, Dumitru is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, regardless of the ultimate disposition of this particular case, the charges serve to remind readers that making knowingly fraudulent, false, or misleading representations to the Government may result in serious criminal penalties, in addition to purely civil immigration penalties in other contexts. As we have noted on site, “immigration attorneys [] have an ethical duty to not willfully present a fraudulent case to a tribunal” [see section]. The overwhelming majority of immigration attorneys follow this ethical imperative. Accordingly, an individual should take pause of an attorney ever encourages him or her to make false statements and representations in any immigration matter, for in addition to being illegal, an individual may face severe civil and criminal consequences for such representations in his or her own right.

Queens Immigration Attorney Faces Federal Charges for Asylum Fraud