Selfish Betrayal


Many immigrants to the United States seek assistance with legal citizenship through family connections or through jobs. If eligibility requirements are met, immigrants have to obtain an approved visa petition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filed by a sponsor, such as a family member, who is already a U.S. citizen or an employer. In job-related situations, employers usually complete a labor certification request, which gets filed with the Department of Labor. In some cases, immigrants request assistance with legal immigration from ”Immigration Consultants.’? Unfortunately, the Inquirer Global Nation profiles a so-called ”immigration consultant” from San Jose, who reportedly duped many foreign nationals by charging thousands of dollars to file labor certification applications, while knowing her clients did not qualify for lawful permanent residence.

The story states that the 66-year-old Filipina ran her consulting business in San Jose over an 18-year period. During that time, she coached foreigners, many of whom were Filipinos, on how to apply for labor certification from the Department of Labor to become legal permanent residents. The charge for this service was nearly $6,000 per client. But, she neglected to inform her clients that they were ineligible for permanent residence under existing immigration regulations. She also encouraged her victims to overstay the time allotted under their tourist visas to work illegally in residential healthcare facilities. (A fraudster and a bad influence.) Trial evidence showed that for approximately three years, the fraudster pocketed more than $3 million in payments from her consulting services. (Not a bad business – until she was caught.)

Following a 13-day trial, the woman was convicted of encouraging and inducing illegal immigration fraud for private financial gain and mail fraud. She faces up to 90 years in prison, fines of $500,000 and restitution.

These victims trusted this fraudster to help them live out the ”American Dream.’? They were trying to follow the rules for legal residence, yet they were victimized by someone who knew she could profit off of their lack of knowledge and experience. America is a nation of immigrants and is strong because of its diverse heritage. This case proves that anyone who tries to corrupt our country’s legal immigration system will have to pay the consequences for their actions.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled, ”Filipina in California Convicted of Mail Fraud, Immigration Scam,” published on Inquirer Global Nation on August 4, 2013.

SAN JOSE, California—A 66-year-old Filipina ”immigration consultant” was convicted of mail fraud and running a multimillion-dollar scheme that victimized Filipinos who hoped to get permanent residency but really had no chance of getting it.

A federal jury on Tuesday, July 30, convicted Evelyn Sineneng-Smith of three counts of encouraging or inducing illegal immigration for private financial gain and three counts of mail, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag.

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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.