U.S. Department of Justice|
Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California
United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2005
For Information, Contact Public Affairs|
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947
Los Angeles, CA - A federal judge in Santa Ana has sentenced the owner of a now-defunct immigration consulting firm to 30 months in federal prison for submitting hundreds of fraudulent visa petitions and for money laundering.
Nuruddin Shaikh, 47, of Norwalk, was sentenced late Monday by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who remanded the defendant into custody immediately after sentencing.
Shaikh's co-defendant and former partner, Naveed Akhter, 41, of Huntington Beach, was sentenced by Judge Carney on June 6 to a term of 41 months in federal prison. Both Shaikh and Akhter face deportation from the Untied States after they serve their sentences.
Shaikh and Akhter engaged in the immigration fraud scheme through Reachworld, Inc., an immigration consulting firm doing business under the name of "Reach USA." Reachworld's offices were located in Fountain Valley.
Akhter and Shaikh filed the fraudulent petitions to obtain visas for hundreds of aliens seeking to come to, or stay in, the United States. Akhter and Shaikh filed the fraudulent petitions ostensibly on behalf of employers who needed to hire alien workers to fill construction and computer programming jobs. The alien customers of Reachworld were listed on the petitions as the workers that the employers wanted to hire. In fact, the petitioning employers were fictitious entities created by Akhter and Shaikh, and the alleged jobs did not exist.
During the course of their scheme, Akhter and Shaikh filed more than 200 fraudulent petitions containing statements that they verified falsely under penalty of perjury. The petitions were filed with the California Employment Development Department and the United States Department of Labor.
The case was investigated by Special Agents from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; the Office of Citizenship & Immigration Services, Fraud Detection Unit; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the California Employment Development Department, Criminal Investigation Division.
Release No. 05-114
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