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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday - March 2, 2005


RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Raleigh on Wednesday, March 2, 2005, returned a True Bill of Indictment charging PANJAK PARMER and MOHAMMED KHEIRALLAH NASSER with conspiracy and visa fraud.

PARMER, 47, of 8804 Bluffpoint Court, Raleigh, N. C., and NASSER, 26, of 717 Chappell Road, Apt. G, Raleigh, N. C., were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and one count of visa fraud. If convicted as charged, each could receive a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine, and three years of supervised release on the conspiracy charge, and 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, and three years of supervised release on the fraud charge.

According to the Indictment, PARMER and NASSER conspired to obtain fraudulently a Non-Immigrant Visa Classification, Class H1B1, for NASSER, who was then in the United States on an F1 Student Visa. The Class H1B1 would grant him Specialty Occupation Worker status and thereby entitle him to residency and employment in the United States. The Indictment alleges that PARMER filed false representations with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which claimed that NASSER was and would continue to be employed as a Computer Network Analyst at a salary of $45,000.00, by business enterprises controlled by PARMER. The indictment further alleges that NASSER and PARMER both knew that no such position existed in PARMER's enterprises and that NASSER was employed as a gas station and convenience store attendant at a much lower salary. PARMER and NASSER allegedly sought the H1B1 Specialty Occupation Worker, Non-Immigrant Visa for NASSER on or about November 27, 2002.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Office of Investigations, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Assistant U. S. Attorney John S. Bowler is prosecuting the case for the United States.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been set. Both defendants are in federal custody.

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