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Two Reno-Area Men Convicted Of Immigration Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2006

Reno, Nev. – Two Reno-area men have been convicted of assisting numerous alien Bangladeshi nationals to obtain legitimate U.S. immigration documents by fraudulent means, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Following an eight-day trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts late yesterday against MOHAMMED MOSHERF, age 51, and SHAHBUDDIN CHISTY, age 48, convicting them of conspiracy, uttering false immigration documents, and aiding and abetting. 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 the charges of uttering false immigration documents and aiding and abetting.

According to the court records and trial testimony, MOSHERF and CHISTY assisted the Bangladeshi aliens who were present in the United States illegally to obtain legitimate U.S. immigration documents. The defendants stole the identities and biographical information of other Bangladeshis who had previously immigrated to the United States, and used that information to apply for benefits on behalf of their illegal alien clients. MOSHERF and CHISTY also assisted undocumented citizens to obtain legitimate Bangladeshi passports under assumed names to support their applications for legal immigration status. The passports featured the impostor's photograph, but listed the biographical information of a Bangladeshi citizen who had already obtained immigration benefits.

In most cases, the Bangladeshi citizens traveled from the New York City area to Reno, Nevada, to meet with the defendants. In Reno, the defendants escorted them to the offices of a local immigration attorney who assisted with the signing of various immigration application forms. The defendants and attorney also escorted the Bangladeshis to the local immigration office, social security office, and DMV, and assisted them in obtaining employment authorization cards, social security cards and Nevada identification cards. The Bangladeshis typically paid the defendants between $5,000 and $10,000 for the fraudulent documents.

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on November 3, 2006, at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval. They are released on bond pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald C. Rachow.

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