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: IRS Criminal Investigation Division

Iran National Deported for Smuggling Nuclear Technology to Iran

One of three men who conspired to illegally ship highly specialized vacuum pump equipment with nuclear applications from the United States to Iran was deported Friday, January 4, 2013, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Amirhossein Sairafi, 44, was released from federal prison Thursday, January 3, 2013, and immediately deported from Chicago via commercial flight, arriving Jan. 4 in Tehran, Iran.

Sairafi is one of three co-defendants who conspired to ship items from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and U.S. sanctions imposed on that country. Sairafi pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to conspiring to defraud the United States, money laundering and violating the IEEPA. He was sentenced March 7, 2011, to 41 months in federal prison. He was released from the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institute in Indiana Jan. 3 and taken into ICE custody.

According to federal court documents, co-defendant Jiraiir Avanessian owned and operated XVAC, a company located in Glendale, Calif. Avanessian corresponded with co-defendants Farhad Masoumian and Sairafi via email for at least two years to arrange the illegal export of expensive vacuum pumps and related equipment to Iran through a free-trade zone in the United Arab Emirates. As part of the conspiracy, Sairafi re-labeled the shipments to mask their true contents and avoid interception by U.S. customs officials.

The vacuum pumps and related devices at issue in this case can potentially be used to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel.

Sairafi was arrested in January 2010 by German authorities and subsequently extradited to the United States to face prosecution.

“This individual’s criminal conviction and resulting deportation underscore ICE’s commitment to promoting public safety and national security,” said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago.

The criminal case against Sairafi was investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division.

One of ICE’s highest priorities is to prevent illicit procurement networks, terrorist groups and hostile nations from illegally obtaining U.S. military products, sensitive technology, weapons of mass destruction, or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials. HSI’s Counter-Proliferation Investigations Program oversees a broad range of investigative activities related to such violations. It enforces U.S. laws involving the export of military items and controlled dual-use goods, as well as exports to sanctioned or embargoed countries.

Restaurant Owners Indicted for Illegal Alien Harboring and Mail Fraud

Husband and wife restaurant owners were charged with harboring illegal aliens and mail fraud in an indictment that was unsealed Thursday, November 29, 2012, in the Northern District of Indiana. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), IRS’s-Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Department of Labor-Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Michael McClellan, 38, and Tina McClellan, 36, of Richton Park, Ill., own and operate the Paragon Restaurant in Schererville, Ind., and T & M Daycare located in Calumet City, Ill., were charged in an indictment that was returned Oct. 17 and unsealed Nov. 29.

Michael McClellan was charged with one count of harboring illegal aliens and three counts of mail fraud. McClellan and his wife Tina McClellan were also charged with one count of making money transactions in criminally derived property.

The indictment alleges that in February 2009, and continuing until on or about March 2010, Michael McClellan harbored illegal aliens at the Paragon Restaurant and at a home he owned located behind the restaurant. He also submitted false quarterly reports which failed to account for restaurant employees he had paid in cash in a scheme to defraud the Indiana Department of Workforce Development out of unemployment insurance tax contributions.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that from 2006 through 2010 the McClellans, as owners of the T & M Daycare center, provided false information to the State of Illinois claiming that certain children had attended the daycare, when, in fact, they had not, causing reimbursements of at least $200,000 from the State of Illinois and Healthy Start program. The McClellans used the criminally derived funds to purchase the home located behind the Paragon Restaurant.

“Homeland Security Investigations holds employers accountable when they knowingly hire an illegal alien workforce to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors. Our goal is to level the playing field for those businesses that play by the rules”, said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of HSI Chicago.

Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell, Northern District of Indiana, is prosecuting the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasized that an indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.