Thursday, April 5, 2018

USCIS Efforts Lead to Sentencing of Former Stamford Resident for Operating Extensive Immigration Fraud Scheme

From USCIS News:

HARTFORD, Conn. — The efforts of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) led to the successful sentencing of a former Stamford resident today. John H. Durham, United States attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that David Nikolashvili, a 52-year-old citizen of the Republic of Georgia residing in Queens, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny to six months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for operating an immigration fraud scheme. Judge Chatigny also ordered Nikolashvili to pay a $12,000 fine. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, Nikolashvili, formerly of Stamford, Connecticut, operated an immigration fraud scheme through which he attempted to obtain false immigration status from USCIS for at least 60 citizens of European countries. As part of the scheme, after foreign nationals paid Nikolashvili between $12,000 and $20,000, he would arrange sham marriages with U.S. citizens to obtain immigration benefits for the foreign nationals. The U.S. citizens were paid to enter into the sham marriages.

Nikolashvili was arrested on June 21, 2016. On July 26, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of making a false swearing in an immigration matter.

Nikolashvili, who is released on a $75,000 bond, was ordered to report to prison on April 27, 2018. He faces immigration proceedings when he is released from prison.

All of the citizenship cases identified in this scheme have been reviewed by USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security and proper adjudicative action was taken.

This investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security, and U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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