Feeling Needed

United States VISA in a european passport with stamps.

Khatija Khan says she started her company with good intentions, in 2014, to provide services to immigrants involved in filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). But it became apparent her main intention was to commit fraud by swindling immigrants seeking help with the naturalization process and along the way crushing their dreams.

Most of these clients were living in the U.S. without legal status, had limited education, a limited ability to understand English, and little to know knowledge of the documents that Khan was filing on their behalf. Khan knew how vulnerable her victims were and used it in her favor, reportedly with threats of deportation if they didn’t follow instructions.

Khan represented herself as an attorney with a background in immigration matters, even though she was not an attorney. For a very large fee, Khan prepared petitions and applications for her clients, forty in all, that contained information she knew to be false, without her clients’ knowledge.

Due to Khan’s lack of understanding immigration law, most of Khan’s clients did not receive application approvals. According to USCIS, most of the applications lacked merit or a legitimate basis.

So why did our fraudster develop this scheme? According to her lawyer, when clients looked to her for advice and guidance, Khan felt needed and important. Assistant Federal Defender Carly Levenson filed a lengthy sentencing memo, emphasizing the traumas Khan has experienced in her life, starting with being unwanted in her extended family.

Maybe Khan will be able to find new ways to cope with her trauma-based insecurities while serving her time. Khan was sentenced to 50 months in prison along with full restitution of over $325,000 to the victims.

Great job in this investigation by Homeland Security.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article ”South Windsor woman gets five years for scamming immigrants” published by Journal Inquirer on September 2, 2022

A South Windsor woman who falsely claimed to be a lawyer and, with her husband, defrauded more than $326,000 from immigrants seeking legal status in the United States, was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison.


DEFENDANT: Khatija Khan, 41, of South Windsor

GUILTY PLEAS: Mail fraud and conspiracy

SENTENCE: Five years in prison, followed by three years of “supervised release”

The sentence imposed on Khatija Khan, 41, by Judge Stefan R. Underhill in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, was below the 6 1/2 -year minimum recommended by federal guidelines. After completing the prison time, Khan will be on “supervised release,” which is similar to probation, for three years.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.