Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: Federal indictment

Colorado Men Indicted for Human Smuggling, Fraud

A federal grand jury in Denver on Friday, March 9, indicted two men for charges related to human trafficking.

This indictment was announced by the following agencies: the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.

One defendant, Kizzy Kalu, 47, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., was arrested without incident March 4. He appeared in U.S. District Court Thursday, March 8, and was arraigned on
the indictment. A U.S. magistrate judge ordered Kalu released on bond. However, that decision is being appealed by the government. A co-defendant, Philip Langerman, 77, of McDonough, Ga., has not yet been taken into custody.

According to the indictment, Kalu and Langerman were involved in a scheme making false
representations to foreign nationals, to the State of Colorado, to the United States, and to others to obtain money under false and fraudulent pretenses and representations. One purpose of the scheme was to obtain the apparent lawful presence in the United States of foreign nationals who would supply labor to a business entity controlled by Kalu. After the foreign nationals’ presence was obtained, Kalu used methods of coercion, including the threat of causing their deportation, to obtain their labor at various long-term care
facilities in Colorado.

Langerman made representations that “Adam University,” is located in Denver, Colo., and was a bona fide institution of higher education needing professional nursing instructors (nursing is considered a “specialty occupation” under U.S. immigration regulations). Adam University is alleged to have existed in name only. The foreign nationals were granted H-1B visas permitting them to be employed as nurse instructors/supervisors at Adam University.

The scheme allegedly involved Foreign Healthcare Professional Group (FHPG), a
company operated by Kalu, which recruited foreign nationals to be employed by Adam University as teaching professionals and supervisors in the field of nursing. Kalu
allegedly knew Adam University was an educational institution in name only.

FHPG made multiple materially false representations to the foreign nationals,

  • that FHPG had a business relationship with Adam University in Denver in
    which FHPG recruited nursing instructors/supervisors who provided instruction
    at the university;
  • that Adam University was a bona fide institution of higher education, and had a curriculum which included nursing education and a continuing education program in nursing;
  • that FHPG had the authority to recruit and hire nurse instructors/supervisors on behalf of Adam University, and use the information they obtained from prospective students to petition the U.S. government on their behalf;
  • and, that Kalu and FHPG had the authority to offer employment at Adam
    University to foreign nationals at a salary of between $68,000 and $72,000 annually.

In fact, Adam University was not an institution of higher education;

  • it had no curriculum, no students and no professors or instructors;
  • the foreign nationals would not be employed by the university but by FHPG at long-term healthcare facilities where FHPG paid for their labor;
  • the foreign nationals would not work in the specialty occupations for which the petitions were made to the U.S. government by Adam University;
  • and, the foreign nationals would not be paid the amount of money they were promised by the petitioner-employer.

The scheme involved foreign nationals who had been recruited by Kalu, arriving in Denver, Colo., and told there were no nurse instructor/supervisor positions at Adam University. Instead, they were directed to work in occupations which were not their
specialty, as Langerman had represented to the United States. FHPG forced the
nurses to work in long-term care facilities in Colorado. Kalu, acting as a representative
of FHPG, contracted with a number of entities which operated and managed these
facilities. FHPG contracted with these facilities to provide nurses – the foreign nationals recruited by Adam University. The employers paid FHPG to provide the foreign nationals as workers. FHPG paid them a rate amounting to about 65 percent of the amounts the employers paid to FHPG, and less than 50 percent of what had been promised them by Adam University.

The scheme involved FHPG and Kalu making payments to Adam University and Langerman. In some cases, Kalu terminated the contracts between the long-term care facilities and the FHPG nurses, but required the foreign nationals to continue to seek employment and pay FHPG a monthly fee. Kalu threatened to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of Adam University’s withdrawal of the H-1B visas issued to some of the foreign nationals if they did not follow his directions, including working as staff
nurses at the long-term care facilities.

The defendants face 132 counts of charges, including: commercial carrier/mail fraud, visa fraud, forced labor, attempted forced labor, trafficking in forced labor, money laundering, aiding and abetting, and criminal forfeiture. If convicted, the two face from 10 to 20 years in prison per count, and a fine of up to either $250,000 or $500,000 depending on the count.

“The victims of this crime were promised a life the defendants never intended to deliver,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh, District of Colorado. “Defendants brought these foreign nationals to the U.S. under fraudulent pretenses, and then forced them to work and give away part of their wages. If they refused, defendants threatened them with deportation. The conduct in this case highlights the harm created by human trafficking and the
importance of aggressive enforcement of federal laws against it.”

“Homeland Security Investigations aggressively investigates human trafficking cases,” said Michael A. Holt, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “However, to effectively identify and aid the victims and prosecute the traffickers, we must increase public awareness of this modern-day version of slavery.” Holt oversees a four-state area, including Colorado,
Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

“This case represents the finest efforts of cooperative law enforcement,” said Michael Bayer, special agent in charge of the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. “If criminal enterprises are enabled to manipulate the instruments of international travel for profitable gain, then we are all at risk on the national security level. The federal agencies, police and sheriff’s departments involved, along with the United States Attorney’s Office deserve high praise for protecting the victims of this crime and vigorously defending
the interests and security of theUnited States of America.”

“This indictment demonstrates the Office of the Inspector General’s commitment to
investigate allegations of visa fraud perpetrated against the Department of Labor’s foreign labor certification programs. To that end, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of such programs,” state David C. Wickersham, special agent in charge of the Dallas Regional Office for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.

This case was investigated by HSI, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations. Further critical support was provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Brown and
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lillian Alves, District of Colorado.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are
presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

9 Men Caught Growing Pot in National Forest

Nine central California men have been charged in an eight-count federal indictment handed down October 20, 2011 for their role in a large-scale illegal pot growing operation in the Sequoia National Forest. This information was uncovered during a multi-agency probe involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court documents, the marijuana cultivation site was located in the Sentinel Peak area of the Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County. During the investigation, law enforcement agents seized some 16,000 marijuana plants, more than 850 pounds of processed marijuana, and three firearms, including an assault rifle. Native vegetation was cut to make room for the marijuana plants. Trash and fertilizer containers were scattered throughout the site and a nearby stream.

“The criminal groups involved in these illegal marijuana growing operations have repeatedly shown they have no qualms about using violence against those who get in their way, including unwitting members of the public who are using our state’s wilderness for recreation,” said Michael Toms, the resident agent in charge for ICE HSI in Bakersfield. “Public lands are there for everyone to enjoy, and we’re going to do whatever it takes in concert with our law enforcement partners to prevent harm to visitors and the environment.”

Among those indicted in the case are: Victor Alfonso Madrigal-Cardenas, 24; Jerman Madrigal, 19; Carlos Mendez-Sosa, 30; Juan Luis Quintero-Pimentel, 20; Gauvencio Madrigal-Chavez, 60; all of Delano, Calif. The remaining defendants, Ivan Carrillo, 29; Antonio Morales, 19; Javier Aranda-Barajas, 32; and Aurelio Anaya-Sanchez, 36; are residents of Lamont, Calif. The men are charged with conspiring to cultivate, distribute, and possess marijuana with intent to distribute it, cultivating and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it, and damaging public lands and natural resources. Mendez-Sosa, Quintero-Pimentel, Aranda-Barajas, and Madrigal-Chavez are also charged with avoidance of examination by immigration officers and are subject to deportation if convicted of the charges. All nine defendants were detained pending trial. Their arraignment is set for October 21.

In addition to ICE HSI, the investigation involved the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the California Department of Justice Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), the California Department of Fish and Game, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

The drug charges all carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum term of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of damaging public land and natural resources, the defendants face a sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for the immigration offense is six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.