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Man convicted in new jersey of immigration fraud extradited from india after fleeing the country to avoid prison

July 5, 2012


NEWARK, N.J. – A man who fled the country to avoid spending more than three years in prison following a federal immigration fraud conviction has been extradited from India to face the punishment for his crimes, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Naranjan Patel, 53, formerly of South Plainfield, N.J., was convicted in June 2007 for helping ineligible aliens fraudulently file for legal residency to remain in the United States. Patel was found guilty following a jury trial of both counts of the Indictment against him: one count of conspiring with others to defraud the United States, and one count of submitting false immigration documents to immigration officials. U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden sentenced Patel in October 2007 to 37 months in prison, ordering him to begin serving his sentence as directed by the Bureau of Prisons. Less than a week before his surrender date of Nov. 23, 2007, Patel fled the United States for India.

Patel arrived in the country early this morning and is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson this afternoon in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between September 2004 and February 2006, Patel conspired with Jonathan Saint Preux and his wife Michele Saint Preux to file fraudulent immigration applications on behalf of hundreds of illegal aliens who were seeking permanent residency status in the United States under a government-sponsored amnesty program. The program allowed aliens to eventually seek permanent residency status if they could demonstrate they had illegally resided in the United States continuously between 1982 and 1988.

Patel and his co-conspirators helped aliens who did not meet these requirements file immigration forms which fraudulently represented that they did. The conspirators also coached the applicants on what to say during interviews with immigration officials.

During the conspiracy, co-conspirator Jonathan Saint Preux was an attorney specializing in immigration law, with an office in Irvington, N.J. Patel’s primary role in the conspiracy was to recruit alien applicants, but he also helped Jonathan Saint Preux and Michele Saint Preux file fraudulent applications and coach the applicants. The law offices of Jonathan Saint Preux received thousands of dollars in exchange for their services.

Patel will now begin serving the 37-month sentence imposed for those crimes.

Jonathan Saint Preux and Michele Saint Preux pleaded guilty in April 2007 to submitting false immigration documents to immigration officials. Jonathan Saint Preux was subsequently sentenced to 57 months in prison. Michele Saint Preux, who served as her husband’s office manager, was sentenced to a 5-year term of probation.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of ICE, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees in Newark, with the investigation leading to Patel’s arrest and extradition. He also thanked the Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division for its key role in the extradition process, as well as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, under the direction of New Jersey District Director John E. Thompson.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronnell L. Wilson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.


Defense counsel: Henry E. Klingeman, Esq., Newark

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