On May 31st, two lawyers based out of Brighton Beach were sentenced after pleading guilty earlier this year to abusing the immigration system and perpetuating immigration fraud. According to court records and the lawyers’ own admissions, the lawyers were illegally advising clients to abuse the system by claiming they were moving to America to avoid LGBTQ persecution in their home countries.
This type of claim is significant because America prioritizes giving immigration rights and citizenship rights to individuals who are fleeing prosecution, discrimination, and violence.
Right now, there are many countries across the world that criminalize homosexuality and persecute members of the LGBTQ community, including in Russia. This team of lawyers took advantage of these circumstances and advised clients to lie about prosecution they suffered. This type of lie constitutes immigration fraud.
The lead lawyer was sentenced to two years in prison, while the second lawyer was sentenced to serve out at least six months. Both lawyers will submit to at least two years of parole once they’re released. In addition, both individuals were ordered to pay fines and forfeit some of the money they earned. The lead lawyer was fined $15,000 and forfeited $540,000, while the second lawyer was fined $5,000 and forfeited $1,500.
When Misrepresentation Becomes Fraud
Despite all the negative talk about America in recent years, it remains one of the top destinations for immigrants across the world. With that in mind, demand has remained high for immigration to the U.S.
When someone is attempting to legally immigrate to America, they have to go through a lengthy process. It can take years for someone to get approved for a citizenship, and sometimes, it’s equally as hard just to get over to our country to begin with.
Considering that, any type of misrepresentation during the immigration process is a serious ordeal. When you give yourself an unfair advantage, you’re taking away someone else’s fair shot at having their dreams to move to America approved.
The good news is that you’re unlikely to get charged and sentenced with fraud unless you intentionally attempt to gain an unfair advantage throughout the process.
Immigration fraud can result in up to ten years in prison. If convicted, then you could also be subject to fines. After serving your sentence, you might also be deported and ineligible to return to the country again as a result of your actions.
To ensure you do not get caught up in an immigration fraud situation, always be as honest as possible when answering questions about your past, present, and future intentions when talking to immigration officials, your attorney, and anyone else about moving to America.
If you’ve found yourself in any sort of potential legal trouble in Brooklyn or a surrounding area, then it might make the most sense to consult with an attorney about your situation. A good lawyer will help you make an informed decision on how to move forward and navigate any potential charges that come your way.
Schedule your confidential consultation with our criminal defense attorneys now to get started.