Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Immigration Attorney Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Visa Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Terence S. Opiola, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced today the arrest of CHARLES JASON LORE for visa fraud, aggravated identity theft, and mail fraud. LORE was arrested this morning and presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Charles Lore, an immigration attorney, is alleged to have submitted fraudulent forms for over 150 clients, claiming a rare exception intended for individuals with extraordinary achievements in film and television. When approached by law enforcement about the unusually high number of exceptions he sought, Lore allegedly stole the identity of another attorney and filed almost 200 additional petitions for the same exception under the unsuspecting attorney’s name.”

HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Terence S. Opiola said: “Attorneys allegedly misrepresenting their role should be put on notice that their actions will be uncovered. I commend our special agents on a job well done.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

Beginning in April 2011 through January 2015, LORE participated in a scheme to submit fraudulent I-129 Forms in connection with applications for temporary nonimmigrant worker visas, known as O-1 visas. Specifically, LORE submitted over 150 fraudulent “no-objection letters” from trade associations that represent actors, musicians, and artists in support of scores of O-1 visa petitions. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services relies on these letters in determining whether the applicant possesses the extraordinary ability, or has demonstrated the requisite achievement necessary to obtain an O-1 visa. In addition, after he was approached by law enforcement agents concerning an apparently fraudulent letter, LORE stole the identity of an unsuspecting lawyer, and submitted nearly 200 additional visa petitions in this victim’s name.

LORE, of Denville, New Jersey, is charged with one count of visa fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of mail fraud. Mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; visa fraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI.  He also praised the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, and the Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service for their assistance.  He added that the investigation is ongoing.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

No comments:

Post a Comment