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Oct. 14, 2010

PAKISTANI NATIONAL CONVICTED OF VISA AND NATURALIZATION FRAUD

(HOUSTON) – Following a bench trial, United States District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore found Raja Anees Mehmood Khan, 41, guilty of visa fraud and naturalization fraud, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

According to the evidence presented at trial, Mehmood, a native and citizen of Pakistan, has a lengthy immigration history and has used different names and dates of birth in his efforts to obtain immigration benefits and to remain in the United States.

Khan first attempted an entry into the United States in November 1990 at the Los Angeles International Airport by using a counterfeit passport and visa. He was denied admission and ordered deported. In August 1992, he gained entry into the United States with a temporary visa using an alias and a different date of birth. After the visa expired, Mehmood filed for asylum in Los Angeles using yet another alias and date of birth. In 1995, his asylum claim was denied. In 1997, he married a United States citizen who filed the necessary paperwork to obtain a lawful permanent resident alien card (green card) for him. At his interview with immigration authorities, Mehmood denied ever using other aliases and dates of birth and denied ever having previously been deported from the United States or ever requesting asylum. In 2002, immigration authorities granted Mehmood requested to become a permanent resident. Since becoming a permanent resident, Mehmood traveled extensively out of the United States and subsequently re-entered by presenting his fraudulently obtained resident alien card (green card). 

On Aug. 20, 2009, Mehmood attempted to become a United States citizen through naturalization and failed to disclose his prior immigration history and denied using other aliases and dates of birth to remain in the United States.

Mehmood’s fraud was thereafter discovered when an fingerprint examiner’s analysis determined that all the fraudulent immigration documents in various names with varying dates of birth belonged to Mehmood.

The visa fraud conviction carries a maximum punishment of not more than 15 years imprisonment. The naturalization fraud conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years. Each statute also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Mehmood is subject to deportation upon completion of any sentence imposed. Mehmood has been in federal custody without bond since his February 2010 arrest and will remain in custody pending a sentencing hearing set for Jan. 24, 2011.

The investigation leading to the charges and ultimately to today’s convictions was conducted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations. Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Manning and Kimani Eason tried the case before Judge Gilmore.

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