NYC Immigration Fraud Lawyers
Immigration fraud is a huge concern among state and federal authorities. Law enforcement members are very zealous about prosecuting immigration fraud. If you’re facing a possible immigration fraud conviction, understand that an immigration fraud conviction can wreak havoc on your background, and it could lead to deportation if you’re not a US citizen. To avoid this, you need to speak to our NYC immigration fraud lawyers. Immigration fraud is an umbrella term which covers a lot of things. A charge of immigration fraud can involve perjury, theft, scams, felonies, or even misdemeanors. Fraud cannot be the result of an accident, or negligent behavior. Authorities in immigration fraud cases have to prove there was an intentional, and purposeful, act. If you can’t prove there was a intentional, or purposeful, motive to do fraud – then this is something our New York immigration fraud lawyers can help with.
Immigration Fraud Lawyer
Immigration fraud can be for any number of crimes. This term refers to any deception, or misconduct, that happens surrounding an immigration, or citizenship issue. Specific examples of immigration fraud our NYC immigration fraud lawyers can help with are:
- Sham marriages for gaining entry to USA
- Telephone calls from someone pretending to be a US Citizenship and Immigration Services personnel
- Businesses that charge outrageous immigration consulting fees
- Fraud that involves VISA lottery
- Using a false identity on immigration documents
- Committing perjury
- Stealing the identity of another person for immigration documents
- Altering documents
- Misrepresenting facts to get immigration benefits
Penalties for Fraud
There are many penalties for immigration fraud. They have hefty penalties for any form of fraud which occurs within the immigration process. Our NYC immigration fraud attorneys can help you avoid these penalties, such as jail time, financial fines, and legal status. Marriage fraud is one of the most common reasons for immigration fraud. It’s punishable by jail up to 5 years or a maximum fine of $250,000. In addition, the citizen/spouse who helps you commit the act could face the same punishment.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1546 – fraud involving VISA or other documents are punishable by the following:
-25 year prison sentence – if the act is done to facilitate terrorism
-20 year prison sentence – if the act is committed to facilitate drug trafficking
-15 year prison sentence – if the defendant is a repeat offender or has a criminal history
-10 year prison sentence – if the defendant is a first/second time offender
Document fraud is another issue that federal officials try to solve. This is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. This crime can also extend to crimes that involve using false identification documents, using the identification document (which was obtained via fraud means) or participating in false attestation.
Defenses to Immigration Fraud
If you’re facing immigration fraud charges, then you need to speak to our New York immigration fraud lawyers to help build a credible defense for you. One of the ways to help prove you aren’t guilty, is by focusing on intent. The prosecution has to prove you intended on knowingly committing fraud. We will help prove that you didn’t intend to possess false documents, make false statements, or do anything to break the law. We will help prove the prosecutor is incorrect, by focusing on the facts. Accidents, or doing things unknowingly, make it difficult for the prosecutor to charge you with hefty fines or get penalties. If you are accused of entering into a marriage-scam, then the prosecution has to prove you tried to enter into a relationship for the sole purpose of gaining entry to the USA. We can help prove you had no such intent. If you aren’t a citizen, and are here on a VISA, you will face an immigration fraud conviction which can result in a loss of legal status and deportation. We work tirelessly to help you stay in the USA. Our New York immigration fraud lawyers can help you 24/7. We can help you avoid deportation, and more. Immigration fraud can help result in incarceration – we can help you avoid that.
We encourage you to contact our New York immigration fraud lawyers as soon as possible.
NYC Immigration Fraud Through Marriage Lawyers
If you’re being accused of engaging in a fake marriage as a means of getting a green card, then you need expert legal representation. Sham marriages are one that done in order to get around USA immigration laws. For a marriage to be valid under the law, it’s not enough that you have a marriage ceremony. You have to have intent to live in a marital relationship together, and to establish a life together. If you don’t intend on establishing a live together, then marriage is a sham – and you will be criminally prosecuted.
The USCIS focuses on detecting fraud marriages. The USCIS offers believe that 30% of marriages are fraud. To detect fraud, immigration officers will look at documents, and conduct investigations to make sure the marriage is real. The US government has the power to follow a couple around, and investigate their life as much as they want to. they can visit your home, talk to your friends, or interview your employers, etc. They have a duty to understand if the marriage is a sham or not.
What’s a normal marriage in the government’s eyes
Normal marriage means a married couple have a lot in common. They have a common language and religion. They live together, and do things together – like vacation, celebrate important events, join clubs, and have children, etc. Typical couples also combine their money, and aspects of their lives. They share bank and credit cards, and share ownership of the property. They meet each other’s families, etc.
The US immigration office expects applicants to prove they share lives. Applicants will have to provide examples of them coming together in a real marriage. The government will also talk to you, and your spouse.
What to do next
Marriage fraud can take several forms. The immigrant typically pays the citizen to marry, and gives money for the marriage. There are mail-order marriages, where the two people have no preexisting relationship and know the marriage is a fraud. The Immigration and Nationality Act § 275(c); 8 U.S. Code § 1325(c)) says that people who engage in a sham marriage can face prison, or a financial fine, or both. They can go to prison for up to 5 years, and be fined up to $250,000
If you’re charged with marriage fraud, you can also be charged with visa fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, harboring an alien, which all results in additional prison and financial sentences.
NYC Immigrant Criminal Defense Lawyers
Being charged with a crime is a traumatic experience for most people. If you are an immigrant charged with a crime, the situation is even more complicated because of the serious consequences a criminal conviction can have on your immigration status.
In New York City, with its huge immigration population, hundreds of new arrests happen daily. Many of the people accused of crimes in NYC are immigrants. At Joseph Potashnik and Associates, our NYC Criminal lawyers successfully defend immigrants who are investigated for or have been accused of crimes in state and federal courts.
There are many well-qualified attorneys in New York, but if you are a non-citizen facing criminal charges, you need a criminal lawyer who understands immigration consequences of a conviction. We have represented hundreds of alien clients in criminal matters here in New York City, successfully helping many of them to avoid immigration problems.
We are not immigration lawyers who help clients apply for visas or adjustment of status. Most of our practice is criminal defense and we have handled thousands and thousands of criminal cases in state and federal courts. With our expertise in criminal defense field and our knowledge of immigration law, we can provide our immigrant clients with more than criminal defense. We give them hope at the time future looks grim.
If you are a non-citizen facing criminal charges in New York City, call our NYC criminal lawyers for immigrants today to set up an immediate consultation.
Here is a list of representative cases in which our work saved our clients from deportation:
- Represented a green card holder business owner in Brooklyn charged with insurance fraud. We had no defenses strong enough to try the case but we negotiated a plea agreement that allowed the client to plead to a reduced charge in a way that did not qualify an aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude.
- Represented a visa holding individual accused of theft in Manhattan Supreme Court. If our client pled guilty to the charge, he would have been deported. Instead, we convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the charges.
- Represented a client accused of marriage fraud for immigration purposes in Manhattan. Convinced the government to dismiss the charges.
NYC Passport and Visa Fraud Lawyers
There are a number of incidences of passport and visa fraud in New York. The U.S. federal agents who deal with this type of fraud are the law enforcement part of the U.S. Department of State. They are known as Diplomatic Security (DS) Service agents. They work with federal as well as international law enforcement agencies around the world to identify and investigate cases of passport and visa fraud.
Committing Passport Fraud
The goal of those who commit passport or visa fraud is often to obtain the benefit of travel and U.S. residence they would not have with their true identity. The Department of State says there are a few common situations where people commit passport fraud. Many people do this to illegally obtain U.S. citizenship or another form of legitimate status in the United States. Fraudulent U.S. passports are desired by people committing such crimes as alien smuggling as well as drug trafficking and more. They are desired by fugitives as well as individuals trying to change or hide their identity. People committing some form of financial fraud, terrorists and more commonly commit passport and visa fraud.
Types Of Fraud
There are three main types of passport fraud that is investigated. It can occur when a passport applicant knowingly makes a false statement on their application to get a passport for travel. Passport fraud can also occur when an individual attempts to get a passport for another person or group of people. This could involve an individual making a false statement concerning the residence, identities as well a criminal history concerning those they have submitted information for to obtain a passport. When a passport is obtained for the purpose of hiding identity or avoiding detection for travel to another country, it is considered fraud.
This is a case of an individual who presents fraudulent identification during the passport application process. This could involve a fake Social Security card, birth certificate or even driver’s license. These are known as breeder documents. These documents could be counterfeit or genuine documents that have been altered. They can also be authentic document obtained using fraudulent methods.
There is a variety of different types of technology that can be utilized to detect passport fraud. There are current databases around the world that can be used for cross-referencing. Technology that utilizes radio frequency identification has also been able to significantly decrease passport fraud. Technology combined with procedures has caused many criminals to change their focus toward committing passport fraud in countries that don’t have the latest technology.
DS Agents from the U.S. Department of State as well as FBI conduct investigations concerning any type of alleged passport fraud. If criminal violations appear to have been committed, a federal prosecutor from the office of the U.S. Attorney General may file charges. This will happen if major criminal acts are identified as having been committed. A fraudulent act committed on a smaller scale may be recommended to a state prosecutor in the state where the fraud took place. An individual could be charged with conspiracy based on Title 18, United States Code section 371. They could also be covered with conspiracy to commit wire or mail fraud. This is identified in title 18, United States Code section 1349.
Should a person be found guilty of lying on a passport application, the first offense could get them a fine of up to $250,000. They could also be given a prison sentence of up to ten years. Should the fraud conviction also involve trafficking in narcotics, an individual could also be given a prison term of up to 15 years. Should the passport fraud involve some form of international terrorism, the penalty could be up to 20 years in prison. When other types of illegal activities are involved, an individual could face charges and penalties in addition to passport and visa fraud.
National Security Threat
Hundreds of thousand of passports are stolen and fraudulently used by dangerous criminals and terrorists each year. Passport fraud is considered one of the single most significant threats to national security in the United States. When someone is suspected of committing passport fraud, the U.S. government will consider this person to be engaged in serious criminal activity and a threat to national security. Should an individual have committed passport or visa fraud, they need to contact an attorney as soon as possible.