Tuesday, September 25, 2018

USCIS Helps Secure Conviction in Albany County Visa Fraud Case

ALBANY, N.Y. –U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisted in the investigation that led to a successful jury vote on Wednesday to convict Dalia Lita, age 55, of Latham, N.Y.; Elina Rahman, age 45 of Watervliet, N.Y.; and Lubna Rahman age 45, of Watervliet, of conspiracy to commit visa fraud by submitting false information to the U.S. government in order to obtain immigrant visas.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, and Kevin M. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security officers in Albany assisted ICE special investigators by confirming and identifying fraud in these cases. USCIS officers also researched and reviewed files and prepared immigration timeline reports for the investigation.

Evidence presented during the 3-day trial established that in 2001, Lita filed petitions for her sisters Elina and Lubna with USCIS, knowing that those petitions contained false statements meant to conceal their true identities and prior, illegal residence in the U.S.  In addition, as part of the criminal conspiracy, Elina and Lubna Rahman filed applications for family-based immigrant visas in 2012, knowing that the applications also contained the same false statements.  Based on the false information the sisters provided, Elina Rahman and Lubna Rahman were issued immigrant visas when they were otherwise ineligible to enter the U.S.

Each of the sisters faces up to 5 years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years when they are sentenced on Jan. 14, 2019 by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant was charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

This case was investigated by HSI and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason W. White.

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