NY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO $100,000 IMMIGRATION FRAUD SCHEME
Claimed To Be Able To Provide Green Cards and Other Immigration Documents
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that a Queens man has pleaded guilty to defrauding five members of the Trinidad community in the South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill sections of Queens by promising to expedite and produce legitimate green cards and other U.S. documents after collecting a total of nearly $100,000 from them.
District Attorney Brown said, “The victims in this case strove to become part of the American Dream. They worked hard and saved their money and gave it to this defendant in the hopes of gaining legal status in this country. Instead, they were defrauded by this defendant who must be punished for taking advantage of these vulnerable victims.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Nazim (“Tony”) Hosein, 38, of 106-43 95th Street in Ozone Park, Queens. Hosein was arrested in January as he arrived at JFK Airport on a flight from his native Trinidad. Today he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny before Acting Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt. He faces 1 1/3 to four years in prison when he is sentenced on August 19, 2009. The defendant also signed a confession of judgment in the amount of $91,800 to be paid back to his five victims.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the criminal complaint, Hosein met with his victims at various locations in Queens County on numerous occasions between August 1, 2007, and October 10, 2008. Hosein told his victims that he knew someone who worked inside the federal building at 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan who could assist him in getting them legitimate immigration documents – including green cards, social security cards and work permits – in exchange for a large sum of money, which would also cover the cost of other expenses, such as bank statements, taxes, fingerprints and medical coverage. The fees ranged from $5,000 to $20,000. In some cases, Hosein provided his victims with forged documents and, in other cases, asked them to meet him at 26 Federal Plaza on October 10, 2008, to receive their documents.
On October 10, 2008, many of Hosein’s victims waited more than five hours outside the federal building for him. Unbeknownst to them, Hosein had taken a flight from JFK Airport to Trinidad the day before, according to U.S. Customs records.
In total, Hosein took $91,800 in exchange for promising to obtain U.S. documentation for seven individuals from five families.
The investigation was conducted by Port Authority Police Detectives Curt King and Dewan Maharaj, under the supervision of Detective Sergeant Mike Palermo and Lieutenant William Hanley, and the overall supervision of Commanding Officer Anthony Fitzgerald, and by Detective Investigator Joseph Brancaccio of the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau under the supervision of Lieutenant Robert J. Burke and Sergeant Evelyn Alegre and under the overall supervision of Lawrence J. Festa, Chief Investigator, and Albert D. Velardi, Deputy Chief Investigator.
Assistant District Attorneys Catherine C. Kane, Chief of the District Attorney’s Airport Investigations Unit, and Dana L. Brubaker, of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gerard A. Brave, Rackets Bureau Chief, and Marc P. Resnick, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Investigations Division Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
NOTE: DEFENDANT IS REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY TONY BATTISTI AT 718-846-5843