Bergen County, N.J., Woman Admits Making False Statements To Homeland Security
NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, N.J., woman today admitted making false statements to special agents of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Vaidehi A. Patel, 26, of Little Ferry, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an Information charging her with knowingly making materially false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
After agreeing to work as a confidential source for HSI in January 2012, Patel informed a number of people about her cooperation and HSI’s investigation into Vision Career Consultants and PC Tech Learning Center for visa fraud and other crimes. One of the individuals, identified as H.P., who Patel told about the investigation was someone about whom HSI had asked Patel. Subsequently, on Jan. 30, 2012, Patel lied to special agents when she told them that she had not told anyone about her cooperation or the investigation. In particular, Patel denied that she had told H.P. about the investigation.
The charge to which Patel pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 16, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana W. Chen of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Joseph D. Rotella Esq., Newark