Two Reno Men Indicted in Immigration Fraud Scheme Involving Bangladeshi Nationals
Reno, Nev. - Two Reno-area men were indicted in U.S. District Court in Reno yesterday for their alleged role in a conspiracy to obtain fraudulent immigration benefits for undocumented Bangladeshis living throughout the United States, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada and John Colledge, Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Reno
Mohammed Mosherf, 50, and Shahbuddin Chisty, 47, were taken into custody at their Reno residences by ICE agents this morning. The arrests stem from an ongoing ICE investigation into a far-reaching scheme where undocumented Bangladeshi aliens allegedly paid in excess of $10,000 to fraudulently obtain political asylum and work authorization documents, including resident alien or "green" cards and social security cards. The two men are charged with conspiracy, "uttering false immigration documents", and aiding and abetting. If convicted, they are facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge, and up 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the other charges.
"We were able to break this case because of the outstanding work done by ICE investigators in Nevada, New York City, Los Angeles, Newark, Oklahoma City, southern Florida, and our attaché in Singapore," said John Colledge. "We're also indebted to ICE's Forensic Document Laboratory. The Laboratory did the database checks and fingerprint comparisons that helped expose the alleged impostor applicants in this case."
According to court documents, the defendants allegedly stole the identities and biographical information of Bangladeshis who had previously immigrated to the United States and used that information to apply for benefits on behalf of their clients. The scheme came to light after an alert officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services noticed that several individuals had used the same documents, photos, and immigration file numbers to apply for replacement identity documents and social security cards.
Mosherf and Chisty are also alleged to have helped undocumented Bangladeshi citizens obtain legitimate Bangladeshi passports under assumed names to support their applications for legal immigration status. The passports would feature the impostor's photograph, but list the biographical information of a Bangladesh citizen who had already obtained immigration benefits.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald C. Rachow