Immigration fraud is a serious charge, and conviction can have severe consequences. Immigration fraud means lying or otherwise misrepresenting information in order to obtain an immigration benefit or help someone else obtain an immigration benefit.
New York City attorneys with high-volume immigration practices should be particularly wary concerning charges of immigration fraud. While attorneys are not required to become detectives and go to great lengths to ensure that their client is telling them the entire truth, an attorney who ignores red flags of immigration fraud may be on the hook for criminal charges and/or professional discipline.
While some attorneys may face immigration fraud charges as a result of mere carelessness, other attorneys have been accused of running immigration fraud mills and basing the law firm?s business on fabricating entire false applications for would-be immigrants to submit.
Some of these practices include
- Facilitating so-called green card marriages
- Fabricating documents in order to fraudulently obtain Department of Labor certification for fake employment sponsorships
- Submitting false and forged documents in support of fraudulent asylum claims
Charges of immigration fraud may be accompanied by other charges such as mail and wire fraud, since frequently the mail is used to send the fraudulent applications and electronic communications are used to either fabricate or submit fraudulent documents to entities such as the Department of Labor, which accepts online applications.
- Attorneys may run afoul of
- running immigration fraud mills
- ?enlisting others to participate in the fraudulent scheme
- consenting that they are sponsoring clients for employment
- advising accountants to create fake tax returns
- coaching or drilling asylum applicants on any special knowledge needed to sustain the false claims in the asylum application
If you learn that your law firm is being investigated for immigration fraud, your first step should be to consult an experienced fraud defense attorney. Carrying on business as usual or going to the other extreme of panicking and fleeing to another country are likely to be counterproductive and lead to further legal harm to yourself.
While the potential consequences of a conviction on these charges are severe, there is a lot that a skilled and knowledgeable defense lawyer can do to protect your rights, both in criminal court and in regards to professional discipline.
Call our experienced criminal defense lawyers? at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.